Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

"Pistachio Blaster" Listens For Perfect Nuts

Date:
November 30, 2004
Source:
USDA / Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
Shells of perfectly ripened pistachios split open naturally, revealing a rich-tasting, lime-green kernel that's ready to roast and enjoy. Nicknamed "laughing pistachios" because they look like they're smiling at you, open-shell nuts typically make up about 78 percent of the U.S.-grown harvest.

The Pistachio Blaster (below) sends nuts, in single file, from the hopper (1) to a metal block (2). A microphone (3) attached to a computer (4) picks up the sound of each nut as it strikes the block. The computer analyzes the sound and uses it to distinguish ripe open-shell nuts from lower quality, closed-shell ones. The computer then directs the sorter (5) to send closed-shell nuts (6) to the reject bin while accepting those with open shells (7). (Graphic courtesy of USDA / Agricultural Research Service)

Shells of perfectly ripened pistachios split open naturally, revealing a rich-tasting, lime-green kernel that's ready to roast and enjoy. Nicknamed "laughing pistachios" because they look like they're smiling at you, open-shell nuts typically make up about 78 percent of the U.S.-grown harvest.

Related Articles


Now, a high-tech sorter developed by the Agricultural Research Service quickly segregates lower-value, closed-shell nuts from high-value, open-shell pistachios, with about 90 percent accuracy. ARS agricultural engineer Thomas C. Pearson invented this super-sorter, called the Pistachio Blaster, while at the agency's Western Regional Research Center at Albany, Calif. He's now with the ARS Grain Marketing and Production Research Center at Manhattan, Kan. ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.

The Blaster is designed to reduce losses otherwise caused when sorting machines make errors, misdirecting premium, open-shell pistachios into bins of closed-shell nuts. Performing at the respectable speed of about 25 nuts per second, the Blaster doesn't damage nuts and can pay for itself in less than a year.

In a sequence of steps that occur faster than the blink of an eye, the Blaster analyzes sounds made during and immediately after each nut strikes a polished stainless steel block. Those sounds, first captured as electrical signals by a precisely positioned directional microphone, are sped to a personal computer, where they're converted into digital data--some 350 pieces of information, or data points, for each nut.

The computer distinguishes the distinctive sound pattern made by the impact of a closed-shell pistachio from that of an open-shell nut. When this analysis reveals the telltale sounds of a closed-shell nut's bounce, the computer sends a signal that causes a blast of compressed air to direct the nut to the reject bin.

One of the nation's largest pistachio processors, Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella, Calif., holds a license for the patented Blaster and is already using several of these novel machines.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA / Agricultural Research Service. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA / Agricultural Research Service. ""Pistachio Blaster" Listens For Perfect Nuts." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 November 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/11/041122092813.htm>.
USDA / Agricultural Research Service. (2004, November 30). "Pistachio Blaster" Listens For Perfect Nuts. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/11/041122092813.htm
USDA / Agricultural Research Service. ""Pistachio Blaster" Listens For Perfect Nuts." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/11/041122092813.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins