CARDAMOM DRIER-Breakthrough Tech of S.Khuntia-June 2014

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“India produces nearly 4,000 tons/year of Large Cardamom in high altitude hilly areas of Sikkim & Arunachal Pradesh at present, which is 60% of world’s annual consumption.” Commercial cultivation of Large Cardamom was started in Arunachal Pradesh during early 90’s. But its market price was too less @ Rs.80/- per kg due to inferior drying of its fruits in traditional smoky method, which was main hindrance for it not being a cash crop and attractive to farmers for extensive cultivation in Arunachal Pradesh. A low cost “Wood combustor & Drier”, developed by the author especially for generation of clean hot flue gas for smokeless drying of Large Cardamom in hilly terrains, was implemented in Arunachal Pradesh during 2004. Few micro-industries, farmers, Govt. officers, NGOs etc were trained by the author for its mass production & effective utilization in different districts of Arunachal Pradesh. Quality of the dried cardamom was greatly improved, wood consumption & drying time were drastically reduced, it fetched a lot more profit and became a cash crop & attractive to the farmers for extensive cultivation in many districts of Arunachal Pradesh. Market price of Large Cardamom has been increased from Rs.80/- to Rs.800/- per kg due to adoption of Improved Drier Technology of the author.

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Smokeless Wood Combustor for efficient drying of Large Cardamom facilitates extensive cultivation in Arunachal Pradesh Invented by S. KHUNTIA Ex-Chief Scientist of CSIR-IMMT (formerly RRL) Bhubaneswar, Govt. India Cell: +919437012679 Email ID: khuntias@gmail.com A success story of technological intervention for extensive cultivation of “Large Cardamom” in terrains of Arunachal Pradesh, India June 2014

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“ India produces nearly 4,000 tons/year of Large Cardamom in high altitude hilly areas of Sikkim & Arunachal Pradesh at present, which is 60% of world’s annual consumption.” Commercial cultivation of Large Cardamom was started in Arunachal Pradesh during early 90’s. But its market price was too less @ Rs.80/- per kg due to inferior drying of its fruits in traditional smoky method, which was main hindrance for it not being a cash crop and attractive to farmers for extensive cultivation in Arunachal Pradesh. A low cost “Wood combustor & Drier”, developed by the author especially for generation of clean hot flue gas for smokeless drying of Large Cardamom in hilly terrains, was implemented in Arunachal Pradesh during 2004. Few micro-industries, farmers, Govt. officers, NGOs etc were trained by the author for its mass production & effective utilization in different districts of Arunachal Pradesh. Quality of the dried cardamom was greatly improved, wood consumption & drying time were drastically reduced, it fetched a lot more profit and became a cash crop & attractive to the farmers for extensive cultivation in many districts of Arunachal Pradesh. Market price of Large Cardamom has been increased from Rs.80/- to Rs.800/- per kg due to adoption of Improved Drier Technology of the author.

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Cardamom after 60 months: Dried through Wood Combustor of the author Cardamom after 06 months: Dried in traditional method (attack of fungus) Dried Cardamom By Wood Combustor By Traditional method Color & Smell Dark Pinkish & Pleasant aroma Blackish & smoky smell Moisture & self life 5% to 8%, More than 10 years 14% to 20%, Less than 06 months Essential oil 2.6 % to 2.8 % (Dry & weight basis) 1.7 % to 1.8 % (Dry & weight basis) Wood consumption 2 – 3 kg/ kg dried cardamom 20 – 30 kg/ kg dried cardamom Drying Time 6 - 8 hours / 1000 kg batch 36 – 72 hours / 1000 kg batch

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‘Large Cardamom’ garden on a high altitude hill slop at Ziro, Arunachal Pradesh, India

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Cardamom pinacle (fruits at base of plant)

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Raw Cardamom Capsules before drying A Cardamom pinacle (fruit) Cardamom capsules collected from pinacles

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Cardamom capsules (fruits): Raw Cardamom contains 80% water. Raw cardamom comprises of 35% seed and 65% rind (cover) by weight. Dried Cardamom comprises of 66% seed and 34% rind by weight. Moisture content of well dried cardamom: 6 – 10% Seeds contain 1.5 – 2.5% (wet basis) essential oil.

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TRADITIONAL DRIER ( BHATI ) Comprises of three rectangular stone walls covered with a bamboo mat / steel wire net. Firewood burns on the floor of the bhati and creates smoke due to incomplete burning. A batch of drying contains a layer of 100 to 200 mm depth of raw cardamom capsules over the wire net. Drying mostly in smoky environment. Cardamom becomes black color after drying. Drying period: Generally 36 to 72 hrs. Essential oil : 1.73% (Dry & weight basis) in dried cardamom. Essential oil reduced due to prolonged drying period. Wood consumption: 20-40 kg / kg of dried cardamom.

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Features of Wood Combustor & Drier Wood combustor, a compact device & made with steel sections, burns firewood without smoke & shoot by supply of primary & secondary air streams without power. Wood combustor comprises of corrugated grate, perforated combustion chamber, air jacket, air damper & a hood. Wood combustor is housed on floor of Traditional or Improved curing chamber (drier) for uniform supply of clean & hot flue gas for drying of raw cardamom layers on top of curing chamber. Wood combustor burns firewood(up to 20% moisture) completely and supply colorless hot flue gas uniformly through out the drier. Improved Curing chamber(drier); a rectangular chamber made with brick walls/ bamboo matts/ stone wall surrounds the combustor uniformly, its top covered with steel wire net holds layers of raw cardamom (up to 1000 kg in a batch) for drying. Air damper controls rate of combustion of fuel; hence regulate temperature of gas & drying process. Uniform distribution of clean & hot gas improves quality of cardamom. Users friendly, maintenance free, long life, significant benefits etc obtain high acceptability & faster adoption of technology in Arunachal Pradesh.

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Hood for uniform distribution of hot gas Wood combustor for supply of uniform & clean hot gas for drying of large cardamom Hood for uniform distribution of hot gas Perforated combustion chamber & air jacket Air damper Fuel feeding door Corrugated grate

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Smokeless burning of firewood in Combustor Fuel feeding door

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Wood combustor in Traditional Bhati at Ziro, Arunachal Wire net Wood combustor

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Wood Combustor-Drier at Pitapole, Arunachal Pradesh

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Wood combustor - Drier at Pitapole, Arunachal Pradesh

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Pealing of raw cardamom capsules before drying

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Drying of Cardamom by Wood Combustor

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Burning of wood in combustor for drying cardamom

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Drying of cardamom at Ziro by Wood Combustor - drier during 2004 (In presence of horticulture officers of Ziro – Arunachal)

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Cardamom dried in Improved Drier

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Fabrication of wood combustor at ZIRO, Arunachal pradesh

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Training & demonstration of combustor at Along, Arunachal

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Inspection of Drying of cardamom through Wood combustor at Ziro by Dy. Commissioner, Govt. of Arunachal during 2004 Author – S.KHUNTIA

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Meeting with DC-Ziro, farmers, NGOs, Hort. Officers etc. at ZIRO

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Field trail of Cardamom dryer in Horticulture Dept. garden at Ziro- Arunachal pradesh

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Wood firing in the drier

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Wood combustor below the wire net

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Cardamom drier

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Wood firing inside combustor in the drier

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Smokeless Drying of large cardamom

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Training-cum-demonstration of cardamom drying

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Smokeless Drying of large cardamom

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Smokeless Drying of large cardamom

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Smokeless Drying of large cardamom

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Dried large cardamom Moisture content : less than 6%

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Dried large cardamom Moisture: less than 6%

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MOISTURE AND OIL CONTENT IN DIFFERENT PARTS OF LARGE CARDAMOM FRUITES MATERIAL MOISTURE CONTENT(%) (dry basis) ESSENTIAL OIL CONTENT (%) Fresh cardamom fruits (raw) 78. 5 0. 41 Fresh rind 88. 9 <0. 1 Fresh seeds with mucilage 59. 0 1. 62 (4.0 on dry weight basis) Seeds from cardamom dried by wood combustor 5. 0 2.6 - 2.8 Seeds from cardamom dried by traditional bhati 14. 0 1.7- 1.8

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Sl.No Major constituent Oil from fresh raw seeds (dry weight basis- DWB %) Oil from seeds dried by Wood Combustor (DWB %) Oil from seeds dried in traditional method (DWB %) 1. Alfa-pinene 1.7 2.3 3.4 2. Alfa -pinene 3.2 3.4 5.5 3. Myrcene 0.7 1.4 1.0 4. 1.8 cineole 84.5 86.0 81.5 5. Teroinen-4-0l 1.5 1.1 1.2 6. Alfa -terpeneol 4.6 2.9 3.1 MAJOR COMPONENTS OF OIL OBTAINED FROM SEED OF LARGE CARDAMOM

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Comparison of performance of Wood Combustor - Drier with traditional bhati for drying of Large Cardamom at Zero 1. Parameters Traditional drying ( Bhuatan type bhati ) Drying through Wood Combustor 2. Colour of raw cardamom Pinkish red Pinkish red 3. Average moisture content of raw cardamom 80% 80% 4. Average quantity of raw cardamom dried in a batch 300 –500 kg 300 – 500 kg 5. Number of layers of cardamom capsules over the wire net 4 - 5 layers 4 - 5 layers 6. Fuel used for drying Firewood Firewood 7. Moisture content of firewood 20 – 25% 20% 8. Average Size of firewood 100 – 150 mm diameter 100 – 150 mm diameter

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8. Average drying period 36 hrs. 6 - 8 hours 9. Average firewood consumption (Kg) 20 - 30 Kg per kg of dried cardamom 2 - 3 Kg per kg of dried cardamom 10. Drying environment Smokey Clean, without smoke 11. Average moisture content of dried cardamom 14-20% 7-8% 12. Colour of dried cardamom Blackish Dark Pinkish 13. Aroma of dried cardamom Smokey Pleasant 14. Essential oil in dried cardamom (% by weight) 1.8 2.65 15. Thermal Efficiency of the drier 1.7 to 3.41% 37.64% 16. Fungal infection on dried cardamom Infected with fungus within six months in lab. Nil, even after 60 months 17. Reduction of firewood consumption - More than 75% 18.Reduction of drying period - More than 80% 19. Increase of essential oil in dried cardamom - 48% 20. Increase of Thermal efficiency of drier - 34%

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BENEFITS OF WOOD COMBUSTOR - DRIER OVER TRADITIONAL BHATI FOR DRYING OF LARGE CARDAMOM IN ARUNACHAL PRADESH Reduction of fuel consumption & drying time : 80% Increase of essential oil in dried cardamom : 48% Increase of Thermal efficiency : 34% Significant increase of self life, color and aroma of cardamom . Increase of market price : 900% (Rs.80/- to Rs.800/- per kg .) Farmer’s friendly, maintenance free and operates without power. Low cost and affordable device. Wood combustor became a factor for extensive cultivation of large cardamom in many districts of Arunachal Pradesh.

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Acknowledgements: The author is highly grateful to Mr.Tani Naranga , Dy.Director & Mr.Kuru Amma , DHO of Horticulture Dept , Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh for rendering strong supports during fabrication & implementation in Zero, Arunachal Pradesh in 2004. The author is also grateful to concerned officials of Horticulture Dept. AP, North East Council (NEC), Govt. of India for logistic & financial supports for implanting the project. The author is immensely thankful to concerned scientists & Director of RRL, Bhubaneswar (presently CSIR-IMMT) towards their strong moral supports during development & implantation of technology in Arunachal Pradesh.

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THANK YOU……. Scenic view of ZIRO valley, Arunachal Pradesh

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