Seed processing

Many species do not produce seeds regularly. When they have a good seed year with good type that can be dried and stored, should collect enough for two or more year’s needs, and should be stored in safe place. For this purpose, most of the seeds need to be removed from their fruits before storage or sowing. Separation must be done carefully to avoid damaging the seeds by heat, moisture, physical breakage, fungi, insects etc. The method of seed extraction varies with the kind of fruit. 

1, Dry or semi-dry fruits that remain closed. 

The seeds of this type cannot be easily removed, and so the whole fruit is stored on sown. Example: Tectona grandis. 

However, it may be possible to remove some part of the fruits like wings, stalks, husks and bracts and they separated by sieving or winnowing. Example: Pterocarpus marsupium, Dalbergia latifolia. 

2, Dry fruits that can be opened. 

In nature, this type of fruit dries out on the tree and then opens, releasing the seed. Since these fruits must be collected before they open, the first step in processing is to complete the drying of the fruit and allow them to open. This is done by putting them under sun for several days. If the fruits are greener in colour, keep them in the shade until they turn brown. The seed should be dislodged from the fruits when they open, by shaking or hitting them with stick. Once most of the seeds are out, that large parts of the fruit can be separated by hand. Smaller parts can be removed by sieving or winnowing. Example: Swietenia macrophylla. 

3, Pulpy and fleshy fruits. 

This type of fruit has one to many seeds, often small, embedded in a fleshy part which may be very soft and juicy or harder and drier. As a general rule, the pulpy portion should be removed as early as possible. For this the fruits should be soaked in a bucket of water for several days until it becomes soft. Changing the water each day may help to peel off the skin, if it is thick and tough. Gentle crushing and rubbing the fruits together by hand results in separation of seeds. The soft pulp floats on water and freed seed sinks to the bottom and they can be separated by decantation. Example: Artocarpus hirsute, Azadirachta Indica. 

Fleshy fruits with small seeds need special type of treatment. After de-pulping the fruits in water, the water containing pulp and seeds is put in a fine muslin cloth through which the water and soft pulp can be squeezed out leaving the minute seeds behind. Example: Anthocephalus cadamba, Broussonetia paperifera.

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