TU Bergakademie Freiberg wants to sustainably improve nut processing in export countries

Macadamia nuts and nut kernels
Kenya is one of the most important export countries for macadamia nuts. The processing is mostly still done by hand. A new nut processing machine at the TU Freiberg is to take over the complete work steps from drying and sorting through to uninterrupted cracking.

Many small farmers and small industrial enterprises in Africa live from nut processing and the export of the "Queen of Nuts" abroad. Before the macadamia nuts are sold as kernels, however, they have to be processed at great expense. This includes drying for at least a week, sifting by size and finally cracking and separating. These are work steps that are not optimally solved in nut processing plants or by small farmers and lead to too much waste and poor resource efficiency.

The already patented nut cracking machine with a split macadamia nut.Prof. Kröger from the TU Bergakademie Freiberg is working together with the German-Kenyan Centre for Raw Materials Research (CEMEREM) at Taita Taveta University in Voi on an innovative nut processing machine to make the entire processing of nuts more ecological, economical and also more hygienic. The planned plant is a further development of the nut cracking machine patented by the Freiberg professor in 2018. It cracks even the hardest macadamia nuts without breaking the core.

"In future, the new processing plant will take over the complete work steps from drying to sizing and crushing. This enables resource-efficient optimization of the entire processing chain. Industrial nut processors can crack up to 15,000 kilograms of nuts per day and small farmers up to one kilogram of nuts per hour quickly and in high quality," explains Prof. Kröger.

The first prototypes for the extended nut preparation machine are to be produced by next year.

Fragen beantwortet / Contact: 
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Matthias Kröger, Phone: +49 (0)3731 39-2997; Mail: Kroeger@imkf.tu-freiberg.de