UPLB researchers develop coffee roaster
- Rudy A. Fernandez () - September 18, 2011 - 12:00am

LOS BAÑOS, Laguna, Philippines  – A mechanical coffee roaster has been developed by two government researchers.

The machine was crafted by Ruel Mojica of Cavite State University (CavSU) and Jessie Elauria of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB).

Before designing the machine, the researchers interviewed Cavite coffee farmers and growers on their preference for an electric-powered machine with automatic switch.

This led Mojica and Elauria to fabricate and test an affordable, locally mechanical crop roaster based on the criteria indicated by the farmers.

As monitored by the Los Baños-based Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD), the newly developed coffee roaster is advantageous over existing machines in a number of ways. It is versatile, cost-effective, innovative efficient, and market-driven.

The equipment has a well-designed auger that makes roasting of other crops such as peanuts and cacao possible. Also, the auger is designed in such a way that movement of beans inside the roasting drum is uniform, thereby producing evenly roasted beans.

The machine has a 10-kilogram capacity, just right for the needs of small-scale processors. And since it is made from locally available materials, farmers can buy it at an affordable price.

Its operator can set and see both time and temperature simultaneously. The degree of roast (light, medium, and dark) can be manipulated by simply setting the temperature.

“There is flexibility in controlling the final roasting results by increasing or decreasing roasting time. This microcontroller has a built-in sensor to check the temperature throughout the roasting cycle, hence over-roasting is avoided,” the researchers explained, as reported by PCARRD’s Ofelia Domingo.

Performance tests done by Mojica and Elauria showed that the optimum operating conditions for the roaster’s maximum response is at 204 degrees Celsius roasting temperature, 19.75 minutes roasting time, and 12.25 percent moisture content (dry basis) of green beans.

Moreover, investment analysis showed positive results.

The researchers noted that the machine’s initial cost of P25,362 can be recovered in 186 days of continuous operation. Annual net income is computed at P51,745. To reach the break-even point, 1,220 kg of seeds should be roasted in a year.

For every peso spent for roaster use, gross return of P1.65 is expected.

CAVITE FORESTRY AND NATURAL RESOURCES RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT JESSIE ELAURIA OF THE UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES LOS BA LOS BA MACHINE MOJICA AND ELAURIA NTILDE OFELIA DOMINGO PHILIPPINE COUNCIL ROASTING RUEL MOJICA OF CAVITE STATE UNIVERSITY
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