19 | MAR | 2019
Mexican students build seed remover machine to help farmers
Xoconostle is the fruit produced by cacti - Photo: Bernardo Martínez/EL UNIVERSAL

Mexican students build seed remover machine to help farmers

17/02/2019
14:18
Notimex
Mexico City
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Dalia Guadalupe, Lucio Hernández, Eduardo Adrián Estrada Maya, Jorge García Arroyo, and Neftalí Jonatán González Yances explained that with this technology is an effective response to the needs of the agricultural sector

Students from the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) created a seed remover machine for prickly pears, known as xoconostles in Mexico, to prevent farmers from hurting themselves with thorns or hurt their backs, but it also is an alternative to promote commercial activity.

With this machine, installed in San Antonio de las Palmas in the State of Mexico, the cleaning, classification, and commercialization of these cactus fruits will be accelerated.

The creators are the mechatronics engineers: Dalia Guadalupe, Lucio Hernández, Eduardo Adrián Estrada Maya, Jorge García Arroyo, and Neftalí Jonatán González Yances, who explained that with this technology is an effective response to the needs of the agricultural sector.

The process of cleaning and classification of the prickly pear is quite grueling and time-consuming, which forces the worker to adopt uncomfortable and harmful positions, also, the thorns removed from the fruit produce severe skin irritations.

Mexico is the main producer of prickly pear with 777,000 tons of prickly pear and nopal; 11,000 people work in this area. In San Antonio de las Palmas, around 7,000 tons per hectare are obtained during the June-September season.

In a statement, Eduardo Estrada explained that the main functions of this machine are the removal of thorns, drying, storage, and classification of the fruit.

"The design of each system in the device was developed with the aim of placing the fruit with thorns, later transport it to the seeding process, where the thorns will be removed with rotating rollers," he added.

He emphasized that the drying system removes moisture from the fruit and facilitates the removal of the thorn, which is directed to the collector to store it, while the prickly pear is sent to the size sorter, by means of a conveyor belt and an inclined roller.

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