Performance Study of a Developed Automated Cooking System
Journal of Engineering Research and Reports
Aims: To identify the heat energy, timing along with other cooking parameters required for cooking rice, beans, okra and yam using the gas, electric and automated cooker respectively. Study Design: The studied automated cooking system was digitally calibrated to ensure the best operation of the various receptacles for adding ingredients such as the cylindrical dispenser, reciprocating dispenser besides the precision fluid dispensing unit synchronized with the automatic opening and closing of
... g and closing of the receiver lid (Pot). Place and Duration of Study: Department of Agricultural and Bioresources Engineering, Federal University of Technology Owerri, Nigeria, between October 2018 and November 2019. Methodology: The performance evaluation of the automated cooking system was done after the selected food samples (rice, beans, yam and okra) were cooked manually with the electric and gas cookers respectively. The major cooking parameters measured and analyzed were the volume of water used, quantity of food and ingredients, temperatures and heating energies of the cooking systems, overall cooking time for food samples and the time for adding ingredients and water into the food being cooked. Results: The experimental results show that the cooking time required to prepare 200 g of the studied food samples namely; rice, beans, yam and okra soup using the electric cooker, gas cooker and the automated cooker were; 50 mins, 69 mins, 30 mins, and 17 mins (for electric cooker); 51 mins, 72 mins, 34 mins and 19 mins (for gas cooker); 45 mins, 64 mins, 25 mins and 14 mins (for automated cooker) respectively. The heating energy data computed for the food samples were: 199 kJ, 416.72 kJ, 182.2 kJ and 516 kJ for okra, beans, yam and rice using the automated system. It was revealed that the thermal efficiencies of the automated cooking system is higher than the thermal efficiencies of other cooking system (electric and gas cookers). The adiabatic nature of the enclosed automated system makes cooking more hygienic and faster due to increased heat energy utilization. Model equations were derived for predicting the heating energy and time required for cooking and to soften these food samples using gas cookers, electric cookers and in subsequent automated cookers. The cooking information obtained from the experiments streamlines a generic recipe and the requirements for cooking different foods with the auto-cooker and has greatly simplified the process of cooking. Conclusion: The automated cooking system offers a significant benefit to the users who have time limitations. The findings from this work may be applied for the commercial production of automated cookers as prospect of modification and further studies could be explored.