Establishing the Amount of Grain Breakage Taking Place in Bulk Maize during Conveyance through the Drag Chain Conveyor

B. Mwaro


The continued increase in human population in the world has continued to put pressure on the available food resources. In this regard, the need to uphold high quality standards in food grains has continued to be paramount. Grain damage during conveyance in bulk through a grain handling facility  is of great concern and various studies have been carried out to establish the extent to which various equipment in the handling facility do contribute to grain breakage. In this study, the amount of grain breakage taking place during conveyance of bulk grain through the drag chain conveyor with steel flights was established. Samples of maize grains were obtained from a selected number of drag chain conveyors in three grain handling facilities at the National Cereals and Produce Board and the amount of broken grains was established through a standard procedure.  The results showed that a drag chain conveyor with steel flights can cause up to 2.63% grain breakage in bulk maize grains during conveyance. It was also established that grain breakage increases with decrease in conveyor loading and grain moisture content. Grain breakage was also found to increase with repeated handling. The findings in this study will aid in the selection of the grain handling equipment as well as in the design improvement of the drag chain conveyor system.


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