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Journal of Tropical Agriculture, Food, Environment and Extension

ISSN 1119-7455
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Article No 4 of Volume 1.2 (2002)
Physical and Frictional Properties of Sheanut

N. A. Aviara1, M. A.Haque2 and I. A. Izge

1Department of Agricultural Engineering

Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria.


2Department of Agricultural Engineering

University of Maiduguri, Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria.





Physical and frictional properties of sheanut (Butyrospernum paradoxum) and kernel were determined to explore the possibility of developing their handling and processing equipment.  At a moisture content of 3.84% (db), measurements yielded an average major diameter of 36.63mm, intermediate diameter of 29.30mm and minor diameter of 27.93mm for the nut. Corresponding values for the kernel were 29.62mm, 20.30mm, and 18.20mm.  The kernel and shell constituted about 60.16 and 39.84% of the nut by mass.  The roundness and sphericity of nut ranged from 68 to 81%, and 78 to 88%, while corresponding values for kernel were between 59 and 69% and 68 and 75% respectively.  The volume, particle density, bulk density, porosity and angle of repose of the nut were 18200mm3, 616.13 kg/m3, 282.52 kg/m3, 54% and 23.320 respectively. The static and kinetic coefficients of friction on different structural surfaces (galvanized steel sheet, glass, hessian bag material and plywood) ranged from 0.173 to 0.445 and 0.157 to 0.412 respectively.  For the kernel, the particle density and porosity decreased from 1137 to 1088.53 kg/m3, and 57.56 to 45.28% respectively, as the moisture content increased from 3.32 to 20.70% (db). The volume, bulk density, angle of repose and static and kinetic coefficients of friction on the same structural surfaces, increased from 5833.33 to 6576.67mm3, 482.51 to 595.60kg/m3, 30.20 to 360, and 0.217 to 0.857 and 0.203 to 0.729, respectively in the above moisture range. The axial dimensions of the kernel also increased with moisture content. The study reveals that a mechanical cracker with pneumatic separator for the kernel and shell could be developed for the sheanut.


Keywords: Sheanut, Butyrospernum paradoxum, Physical properties,Frictional properties

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