Development of steam cooker for small scale cashew nut processors

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University of Dar es Salaam
Small scale cashew nut processing currently uses inefficient traditional methods which have low production volume and quality. Such traditional methods limit the growth of this sector. The main objective of this study was to improve production volume and quality of local small scale cashew nut processors by developing a steam cooker. . The objectives of the study were achieved through literature review from an assortment of sources as a familiarization stage; field information collection by physical visits to identified areas where observation, questionnaires, in-depth interviews and conversation were used. Information analysis was based on the elements of design specification (PDS) and the results formed an input to the design of steam cooker starting with product design specification to conceptual design, embodiment design and detail design. The developed cooker is cylindrical in shape attached with a separate heat generating unit. The cooker was manufactured and tested. It has a capacity of steaming a maximum of 75 kg of raw cashew nuts using cashew nut shells/firewood as source of energy. The cooker testing yielded high quality cashew kernels comparable to those from factories and better than the product of open pan and boiling methods. It is concluded that it was possible to develop a steam cooker for small scale cashew nut processors. This cooker, if used, will increase the processors' production volume and quality of kernels. It is recommended that further improvements and testing be carried out to improve the cooker performance and that the cooker should be promoted to groups of small scale processors and other stake holders in the cashew nut industry.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF TJ 279.B27)
Steam cooker, Cashewnut processing
Baraka, K (2008) Development of steam cooker for small scale cashew nut processors.Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam.