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Arid Zone Journal of Engineering, Technology and Environment, April, 2017; Vol.

13(2):288-300
Copyright Faculty of Engineering, University of Maiduguri, Maiduguri, Nigeria.
Print ISSN: 1596-2490, Electronic ISSN: 2545-5818, www.azojete.com.ng

PHYSICAL PROPERTIES AND SPECIFIC HEAT CAPACITY OF TAMARIND


(Tamarindus indica) SEED

A. Dauda*, N. A. Aviara and E. A. Garba


(Department of Agricultural and Environmental Resources Engineering,
University of Maiduguri, Maiduguri, Nigeria)
*Corresponding authors e-mail address: abdullahimiringa@gmail.com

Abstract
This study investigated the effect of moisture content on physical properties and specific heat capacity of
Tamarindus indica seed. Physical properties investigated were axial dimensions, one thousand seed weight, bulk
and true densities, porosity, roundness and sphericity, surface area, angle of repose and static coefficient of friction.
The thermal property determined was the specific heat. These properties of Tamarindus indica seed were
investigated within the moisture content range of 7.55 - 10.47% (d.b). The length, width and thickness increased
from 9.979 to 10.634mm, 8.909 to 10.089mm and 5.039 to 5.658mm, respectively in the above moisture range. One
thousand seed weight, surface area, seed volume, true density and porosity, increased from 388.4 to 394.8g, 86.916
to 87.58cm2, 0.353 to 0.366cm3, 1217.5 to 1287.00kg/m3 and 28.22 to 33.87%, respectively, as moisture content
increased in the above range, while bulk density decreased from 873.9 to 851.4kg/m3. Roundness and sphericity, and
angle of repose also increased from 41 to 42.4% and 73.7 to 76.3% and 36.1 to 38.93o, respectively. Specific heat
capacity values increased linearly from 589.00J/kgK to 638.61 J/kgK in the above moisture range.

Keywords: Physical properties, Tamarindus indica L., moisture content, thermal properties, specific heat

1. Introduction
Tamarindus indica L. belongs to the family leguminosae (fabaceae).The fabaceae are herbs,
shrubs, trees, and lionas found in both temperate and tropical regions of the world. This family
makes the third largest family of flowering plants. The fruits are pods that are oblong, curved or
straight, with rounded ends. The pod has an outer epicarp which is light grey or brown and scaly.
Within is the firm but soft pulp which is thick and blackish brown, the pulp is traversed by
formed seed cavities, which contain the seeds. Each pod contains 1-12 seeds which are flattened,
gloss, obtular to rhomboid, each 3-10 by 1.3cm and the center of each is flat side of the seed
marked with a large central depression. The seeds are red to purple brown, and the seed
chambers are lined with a parchment like membrane. (El-Siddiq et al., 2000).The seed size is
very variable, pods ripen about 10 months after flowering and can remain on the tree until the
next flowering period, unless harvested (Chaturved., 1985). The seed has energy content of
238kcal,sugars (57.4g), dietary fiber (5.1g), fat (0.6g), protein (2.8g), carbohydrate (62.5g) and
other important vitamins and minerals (FAO, 1999).
It is grown unattended to in backyards, roadsides or wastelands, in inter-tropic zone, tamarind
pulp, leaves, seeds and flowers are commonly consumed in various dishes or traditional drinks
due to its high nutritive and calorific values. It is a good source of protein, rich in some essential
amino acids (Marathe et al., 2002).The powder made from the Tamarind kernels has been
adopted by the Indian textile industry as 300% more efficient and more economical than corn
starch for sizing and finishing, jute and spun viscose. It is employed in color printing of textiles,
paper sizing and leather treating.

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ISSN 1596-2490; e-ISSN 2545-5818; www.azojete.com.ng

Several researchers have studied the physical and thermal properties of agricultural and food
products for the purpose of designing processing machines. Tunde-Akintunde et al. (2007)
reported the mean values of length, width and thickness of beniseed measured at different
moisture contents in the range of 3.5-25%. Singh and Goswami (1996) reported that the mean
dimensions of cumin seeds taken at 9.33% (d.b) were 5.61mm for major axis, 1.77 mm for
intermediate axis and 1.55mm for minor axis. Burubai et al. (2007) measured the major,
intermediate and minor diameter of African nutmeg using a vernier caliper. The average major,
intermediate and minor diameters were 16.67mm, 11.52mm and 9.98mm.
Carman (1996) reported that the bulk density of lentil seed increased from 1190 to 1935 kgm-3 in
the 6.50-32.60% (d.b) moisture range. Aviara et al. (2005a) reported that the bulk density of
Balanites aegyptica nuts increased from 546.90 to 521.60 kgm-3 in the moisture range of 4.71 to
26.35% (d.b).
For sheanut (Aviara et al., 2005b) the bulk density increased from 291.30 to 356.20 kgm-3 as the
moisture content from 6.00 to 27.90% d.b respectively.
Unlike bulk density, true density decreased with moisture content as reported by Deshpande and
Ojha (1993) for soybeans; Joshi et al. (1993) pumpkin seeds; Balasubramanian (2001) raw
cashew nut, (Aydin et al., 2002 ) Turkish Mahleb and Konak et al. (2002) chickpea seeds. An
opposite result was reported for Quinoa seeds (Vilche et al., 2003). Singh and Goswami (1996)
as well as Gupta and Das (1997) discovered that the true density of cumin seeds, sunflower and
pigeon pea seeds, respectively decreased as the seed moisture content increased. Joshi et al.
(1993); Nelson (1980); Suthar and Das (1996) determined true density by using the gas
displacement method, while Aviara et al. (1999), Dutta et al. (1988) employed the water
displacement method.
The porosity of cumin seeds (Singh and Goswami, 1996) and sheanut (Aviara et al., 2005b)
increased with increase in moisture content. Aviara et al. (2005a) found that the porosity of
Balanites Aegyptica nuts ranged 41.86-49.37% in the 4.71-26.35% (d.b) moisture content.
Burubia et al. (2007) determined the porosity of nutmeg and reported it to be 41.10% in the
4.93% (d.b) moisture content. For beni seed, the porosity was in the range of 46-22.30% in 3.50-
25% (d.b) moisture content, porosity decreased with increase in moisture content (Tunde-
Akintunde et al., 2007).
The 1000 seeds weight of cumin seed was determined by Singh and Goswami (1996), using an
electronic weighing balance. Aviara et al. (2005b) obtained the 1000 seed weight of sheanut,
which ranged from 7.8 to 10.6kg in the 6%-27% (d.b) moisture range. Tabatabaeefar (2003)
reported that the 1000 kernel weight of wheat was within 23.3 g to 39.7 g in the 0-22% moisture
range. Aviara et al. (2005a) reported the 1000 nut weight of Balanates aegyptica to be 2.39 to
3.33kg for oblong nus in the 4.72%-26.35% (d.b) moisture range, while for the spheroidal
variety; the 1000 nut weight was from 2.66 to 3.11kg in the 4.71%-24.18% (d.b) moisture
content.
The sphericity of Ife brown cowpea increased from 0.734 to 0.795 between 15% and 20 and later
decreased to 0.665 at 30% moisture content dry basis (Davies and Zibokere, 2011). The decrease

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in sphericity of seeds agreed with that reported by Adejumo et al. (2007) for Kano white variety
of bambara groundnut and Cetin (2007) for barunia. The sphericity of corn seeds increased from
66 to 68% with the increase in moisture content (Tarighi et al., 2011). The surface area of corn
seeds increased from 155.38 to 166.38mm2, while the moisture content increased from 5.15 to
24.07% dry basis (Tarighi et al., 2011). Ebubekir et al. (2004) determined the angle of
repose of Trigonella Foenungraceum L. also known as Fegureek seeds using a topless and
bottomless cylinder of 300mm diameter and 500mm height. The cylinder was placed at the
center of a raised circular plate and was filled with fenugreek seeds. The cylinder was raised
from off the seed and the angle of repose was calculated from the height and diameter of cone
formed. The angle of repose was found to increase from 14.34 to16.88o in the 8.9%-20.1% (d.b)
moisture range. Aviara et al. (1999) using the removable front panel method determined the
angle of repose of guna seed, which was 28.07o and 43.58o in the 4.7% and 39.3% moisture
contents, respectively. Amin et al. (2004) reported the angle of repose of lentil seed which were
24.80o and 27.78o in the 10.33% and 21.00% d.b moisture contents, respectively. Igbozulike and
Aremu (2009) reported the angle of Garcinea Kola seeds which were 30.42 and 40.86o in the
39.79% and 52.45% d.b moisture content respectively. Kocabiyik et al. (2009) determined the
specific heat of pumpkin seeds, using the method of mixtures. The specific heat of pumpkin
seeds was found to be between 2.33 and 3.13kJ/kg-1K-1 in the 5.32-24.00% (d.b) moisture
content range.
The main aim of this study is to determine the physical properties and specific heat capacity of
Tamarindus indica seed as affected by moisture content. The specific objectives are to determine
the axial dimensions, bulk density, 1000 seed weight, roundness and sphericity, true density,
seed volume, surface area, porosity and static coefficient of friction and angle of repose of the
seeds at different moisture contents, and the specific heat capacity of the seeds at different
moisture contents.

2. Material and Methods


The Tamarind seeds used for this study were obtained from Custom market, Maiduguri, Borno
State, Nigeria. The seeds were carefully extracted from the matured pods, cleaned of dirt and
foreign matter, and broken and immature seeds were removed. The seeds were then stored in air
tight cellophane bags.
The moisture content of Tamarind seeds was determined using the method of Aviara et al.
(1999). The samples were oven dried at 105oC for 5hours, The moisture content of the tamarind
seeds was calculated from the relation used by Aviara et al. (2005b) and given in equation (1).

(1)
where: Mw.b = wet basis moisture content, Wi =initial weight (g), Wf =final weight (g)
It was converted from wet basis moisture content to dry basis moisture content using the
Equation (2)

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(2)
where: Md.b = dry basis moisture content
To determine the seed size, 100 seeds were randomly selected from the bulk material at different
moisture levels. Vernier caliper with a precision of 0.05mm, was used to measure the
dimensions. In this method, the three axial dimensions measured were major, intermediate and
minor axes. The one thousand seed weight of the Tamarind seeds was obtained with the help of
an electronic weighing balance with reading of 0.001g. 1000 seeds were randomly collected at
the market storage moisture level and weighed using the electric balance when placed on it. The
mass of one thousand seed was then obtained and recorded after it had been weighed three times.
Roundness and sphericity were determined by tracing the shadowgraphs of the seed on a graph
sheet, at the market storage moisture level. Shadowgraphs involved drawing circles-smallest
inscribing and largest circumscribing circles on the seed in it natural position of rest.
For roundness the projected area and area of the smallest circumscribing circle were calculated
by method of counting the squares. Thirty trials were carried out in all and the mean determined.
Roundness was calculated from the relation:

(3)
where: R=roundness, %, Ap = projected area (cm2), Ac=area of smallest circumscribing circle
(cm2)
Sphericity was calculated from the relation

(4)
where: S= sphericity, %, Di= diameter of inscribing circle (cm), Dc= diameter of circumscribing
circle (cm).
A very thin Aluminum foil was used to determine the surface area of the seed. 30 seeds were
selected at random and used in the experiment. The seeds were carefully wrapped in the foil
paper and then the boundary of the seeds as seen on the foil paper was cut and placed on a
standard graph sheet and traced with pencil. The surface area of the seed was then determined by
counting the number of square boxes the traced boundary covered on the graph and multiplying
by area of the box. This was repeated for the rest of the seeds.
The bulk density of Tamarind seed was determined using the method applied by Aviara et al.
(1999). This method entailed filling a 500ml cylinder with seeds usually from a height of 15cm
and weighing the content. Three trials were carried out and their average calculated at each
moisture level. The bulk density was determined using Equation 5:

(5)
where: Pb = bulk density (kg/m ), Ms = mass of seeds alone (kg), Vs = volume of seeds (m3)
3

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The particle density of Tamarind seeds was determined using the standard water displacement
method. Sample of the seed at initial moisture level were collected, weighed on an electronic
balance coated with epoxy resin around the ring to prevent adsorption of water during the test.
The coated seed was tied with thread and submerged in 50ml cylinder containing water and
volume of water displaced is noted and taken as the volume for the seed. The mass and volume
were documented and 30 trials in all were carried out and mean particle density calculated.
Particle density was calculated from the relation.

(6)
where: Pt = particles density (kg/m3), M = mass of individual seed (kg), V = volume of
individual seed (m3).
The porosity of the Tamarind seeds was calculated from the expression given by Mohsenin
(1986) as follows:

(7)
where: P = Porosity in percentage, Pb = bulk density (kg/m3), Pt = particles density (kg/m3).
In determining the angle of repose, the cylindrical pipe method was used. This involved the
filling a topless and bottomless cylinder with seeds. The cylinder was slowly raised from the
seed on a surface until it left the seed forming a cone and the length and height of the cone which
were formed by the seeds were used to calculate the angle of repose. This was repeated three
times.
The specific heat of Tamarind seeds was determined using a copper calorimeter placed inside a
flask by the method of mixtures as described by Ogunjimi et al. (2002). A sample of known
weight and temperature was poured into the calorimeters containing water of known temperature
and weight. The mixture was stirred with a copper stirrer until equilibrium temperature was
reached. The final temperature was noted and the specific heat of the sample was calculated
using the equation.

(8)
where: Cc = specific heat of calorimeters (J/kgK), Cs = specific heat of sample
(J/kgK), Cw = specific heat of water (J/kgK), Mc = mass of calorimeter
(kg), Ms = mass of sample (kg), Mw = mass of water
(kg), Te = equilibrium temperature of seed (K), Ts = initial temperature of sample
(K), Tw = initial temperature of water (K).

3. Results and Discussion


3.1 Seed moisture content
The Tamarindus Indica seeds were found to have initial moisture content of 7.55% (d.b), which
was also called the market storage moisture content. The other two moisture levels obtained after
conditioning the seeds for 15 h and 30 h were 9.03% (d.b) and 10.47% (d.b), respectively. The
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investigations were executed at the above moisture contents to ascertain the effect of moisture
content on the physical, specific heat and frictional properties of Tamarindus indica seeds.

3.2. Seed Axial Dimensions


The length, width and thickness of seed increased from 9.979 to 10.634 mm, 8.909 to 10.090mm
and 5.039 to 5.658mm, respectively, as the moisture content increased from 7.55% to 10.47%
(d.b). The effects of moisture on axial dimensions of Tamarindus indica is shown in Figure 1.
The relationship between length, width and thickness and moisture content was found to be as
follows:
L = 0.2264M + 8.2957 (9)
W = 0.406M + 6.0056 (10)
T = 0.2124M + 3.4773 (11)
where: M is moisture content in % (d.b), with values for the coefficient of determination, R2 of
0.9672, 0.813, and 0.9468, respectively.

15
Axial Dimensions (mm)

10
Length
5
Width

0 Thickness
6 8 10 12
Moisture Content, % (d.b)
Figure 1: Effect of moisture content on the axial dimensions of Tamarind seed
3.3 One Thousand Seed Weight
The effect of moisture content on one thousand seed weight is shown in Figure 2. One thousand
seed weight increased linearly from 0.388 to 0.395 kg when the moisture content was increased
from 7.55 to 10.47%. The relationship between one thousand seed weight and moisture content
can be expressed using Equation (12).
W1000 = 0.0024M + 0.37 (12)
2
with a value for R of 0.9945.
0.396
One thousand seed

0.394
weight (kg)

0.392
0.39
One thousand seed weight
0.388
0.386
6 8 10 12
Moisture Content, % (d.b)
Figure 2: Effect of moisture content on one thousand seed weight of Tamarind seed

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3.4 Bulk Density


The bulk density of the seeds at different moisture content decreased linearly from 873.9kg/m 3 to
851.4kg/m3 within the moisture content range of 7.55 - 10.47% (d. b.).The effect of moisture
content on the bulk density of Tamarindus indica seed is shown in Figure 3.
The relationship between bulk density and moisture content can be expressed as:
b = -2.5438M + 877 (13)
2
with value for coefficient of determination of R of 0.8165.

Figure 3: Effect of moisture content on bulk density of Tamarind seed


3.5 True Density
The true density of seeds increases from 1165.265 to 1289.341kg/m3 within the seed moisture
content range of 7.55 to 10.47%. The effect of moisture content is shown in Figure 6. The
relationship between true density and moisture content can be expressed as:
t= 23.798M + 1037.5 (14)
2
with a value of coefficient of determination of R of 0.9997.

Figure 4: Effect of moisture content on True density of Tamarind seed

3.6 Roundness and Sphericity


The roundness and sphericity of Tamarindus Indica seed increased linearly from 41 to 42.4%
and 73.7 to 76.3%, respectively. The effect of moisture content on roundness and sphericity is
shown in Figure 5. Coskun et al. (2006) showed that sphericity of sweet Corn seed increased
linearly with increase in the moisture content. The relationship between Roundness and moisture
content is represented by the following expression:

R= 0.4797M + 37.408 (15)

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with coefficient of determination of R2 of 0.9945 .


The relationship between Sphericity and moisture content is represented by the following
expression:

S = 0.8897M + 66.911 (16)

with coefficient of determination of R2 of 0.9907.


100
Roundness and Sphericity

80
60
(%)

40 Roundness

20 Sphericity

0
6 8 10 12
Moisture Content, % (d.b)

Figure 5: Effect of moisture content on Roundness and Sphericity of Tamirind seed

3.7 Porosity
The porosity of Tamarindus indica seed was found to increase from 28.22 to 33.87% within
moisture range of 7.55 to 10.47%. The effect of moisture level on porosity is shown in Figure 6.
The linear relationship between the porosity and moisture content can be expressed as:
P =1.9378M + 13.891 (17)
2
with a value for coefficient of determination of R of 0.9662.

Figure 6: Effect of moisture content on porosity of Tamarind seed

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3.9 Seed volume


The volume of Tamarindus indica seed was observed to increase linearly from 0.353 to
0.366cm3 with the increase in moisture content from 7.55 to 10.47% (d.b). The effect of moisture
on seed volume is shown in Figure 7.
The relationship between seed volume and moisture content can be represented with the
equation:
V=0.0045M + 0.3201 (23)
2
with value of coefficient of determination R of 0.9563.

Figure 7: Effect of moisture content on volume of Tamarind seed


3.10 Surface Area
The surface area of the Tamarindus indica seed increased from 86.916cm2 to 87.58cm2 as the
moisture content increased from 7.55 to 10.47% (d.b).The effect of moisture content on this
property is shown in Figure 8. The relationship between surface area and moisture content can be
represented with the following equation:

SA=0.2269M + 85.153. (24)

with a value of coefficient of determination R2 of 0.9340.

Figure 8: Effect of moisture content on surface area of Tamarind seed

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3.11 Angle of Repose


The angle of repose increased linearly from 36.10 to 38.93o within the moisture range of 7.55 to
10.47% (d.b). The effect of moisture on angle of repose is shown in Figure 9. The relationship
between angle of repose and moisture content can be expressed as follows:
= 0.9665M + 28.52 (25)
2
with coefficient of determination of R of 0.8911.

Figure 9: Effect of moisture content on angle of repose of Tamarind seed

3.12 The Specific Heat Capacity


The specific heat of Tamarindus indica seed is from 589.00J/kgK to 638.61J/kgK in the moisture
range of 7.55 to 10.47% (d.b) and three temperatures ranges (294.8-305K, 294.8-306K and
294.8-300.5K). The effect of moisture on the specific heat capacity can be shown in Figure 13. It
was observed that the specific heat increased linearly with increase in moisture content. The
thermal properties of the seed are essential in the development of equipment and processes
needed in its thermal processing, as well as in drying storage. The relationship between Specific
heat capacity and moisture content can be represented by the following expression:
C=17.002M+ 461.9 (26)

with value of coefficient of determination R2 of 0.992.

Figure 10: Effect of moisture content on specific heat capacity of Tamarind seed

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4. Conclusion
The physical properties of Tamarindus indica seed obtained on completion of this investigation
revealed the following:
1. The major, intermediate and minor dimensions of the seed all increase with increase in
moisture content.
2. The one thousand seed weight, true density and porosity of Tamarindus indica seeds
increased, while bulk density decreased with moisture increase.
3. The surface area, roundness and sphericity as well as angle of repose of the Tamarindus indica
seeds increased with increase in moisture content.
4. The specific heat increased linearly with increase in both moisture content and temperature.

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