Physical Properties of two Acha varieties as a function of Moisture Content
"Acha" is a cereal crop of West African origin belonging to the family graminaea. There are many varieties of Acha, but the most prominent two are the white Acha (Digitaria exillis) and brown Acha (Digitaria iburua). Acha is used in the production of food and beverages, and manufacture of medicines. The grain therefore, has immense economic values. However, the mechanization of Acha processing has been limited by shortage of data on its physical properties that would aid the design of equipment for its post-harvest operations. Therefore, this study was undertaken to determine the variation of bulk density, particle size distribution, porosity, solid density, angle of repose and one thousand grain mass of the two varieties of the crop with moisture content. The moisture content range within which the study was conducted was 5 - 30% (d.b) for both white and brown variety. Results showed that as the moisture content of the two varieties of Acha increased, there was decrease in bulk density, porosity and solid density. However, increase in moisture content increased the 1000-grain mass and angle of repose of both varieties, with the values for white Acha being higher than those of brown Acha. The operation and adjustment of any Acha processing and storage equipment would therefore require a consideration of the variety and moisture content to obtain good performance.