Feedback is very important for any innovation to take off. I presented the prototype of the Egg Removal device at the first Global Rice Summit organised by AIREA in Karnal during February, 2011.The feedback, from many Basmati Rice exporters, was that what everyone needed was a workable unit of the device, rather than the prototype. The exporters also felt that they would be unable to find an entrepreneur with time to invest, in making a workable unit. If the workable model would be readily available, they would try it to combat the Khapra Beetle and Rice Weevil. This feedback made me to develop a workable ready-to-use model. Below is the outcome of the feedback - within a very short period of five months.

A device to remove adult insects and crush the eggs present in stored grain has been developed by the Department of Agricultural Entomology, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore (Indian patent 198434). The device has a grain feeding hoper and an insect cleaning unit, with an outlet to collect them separately and an outlet for the treated grain.

The device can be hand-operated with ease, and within around five minutes, can remove the majority of insects present in the foodgrains, leaving them in the insect collection outlet. Inner-brushing arrangements in the insect cleaning unit facilitate crushing of the eggs, if any, in the grains. The capacity of the hand operated machine is 5-10 kg in 5-10 minutes. The machine can be continuously operated with the option of a batch-type operation. The device can be easily motorised, depending on the need of the end-users. Its maximum RPM should be around 30-35.

For best results, the length of the insect cleaning unit can be six feet or more, depending on the grain handling. The approximate cost of this suggested unit, fitted with food grade stainless steel, a food grade brush unit and completely motorised, with adjustable RPM, is Rs 2,00,000. However depending on the purpose of the end-users, the unit can also be fabricated in smaller sizes if it is for trial purpose, with GI materials, e.g. a machine with a motor with only a grain contact part made of food grade stainless steel, with a three feet insect cleaning unit. The approximate cost of this unit is around Rs 1, 00,000.

Note: For Wheat and Pulses (whole and broken) the perforation size of the insect cleaning unit can be between 2.8-3 mm and for cereals like rice, maize, sorghum it should be 2 mm, so that perforation permits insects alone and not the grains.

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