Reynel
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Re: Help! Procedure in Making SAP Using Orange and Avocado.

Postby Reynel » Fri Feb 12, 2021 12:35 am

Hi Mr. Sybee,

How are you doing? I'm sorry my reply was late. We were a bit frustrated since we still don't know why our SAP is not yet working. We already checked the procedure and we've done and followed it already. The last and final batch that we made last Monday which was sundried 3 days ago got moldy too. We already covered it using a mosquito net hoping that it will prevent the moldings, but yesterday, molds were already formed in the Lemon SAP. We do not have any time to waste by now, and still, we don't know why our project is still not working.

The Orange SAP that we've tried and we've blended last Monday was also not working. I don't get why even our original SAP was still not working. What do you think Mr. Sybee? We really don't know what to do by now. Please, I hope you could help us.

I hope you are safe and well there,
Reynel

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Re: Help! Procedure in Making SAP Using Orange and Avocado.

Postby SciB » Fri Feb 12, 2021 5:54 pm

Hi Reynel,

You have some really hungry molds there! Since sun drying doesn't work for you, your only choice that I can see is oven drying--just don't make the oven too hot--no more than 120 C. That will be warm enough to keep fungi from growing on the peels but not so warm as to damage the polymers--I hope. It's an experiment. As lakshita said, there are no bad experiments--they always tell you something and it is important to report accurately what happened so maybe the next person who tries to make SAPs will be able to avoid the mold,

Let me know what you think. I like feedback and welcome new ideas. I'll always try to help.

Sybee

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Re: Help! Procedure in Making SAP Using Orange and Avocado.

Postby Reynel » Fri Feb 12, 2021 6:03 pm

Hi Mr. Sybee,

Are you doing well there? Here in the Philippines, there'll be days when it's so rainy, and there are days where it is super sunny. Almost like there's no in-between, so that kind of affected our project too.

I would like to update you that the timeline of our experimentation changed. We will try to change the sun-drying process from 14 to 2-4 days since by that time the peels were almost fully dried already. By that, it will give us more time to conduct our testing methods since we won't be waiting for 14 days every time we make and SAP.

Tomorrow, we are planning to conduct again just like what we've said in Ms. Lakshita's topic. We will be narrowing down the materials first so less will be wasted. By the time that our SAP is finally successful, that's when we will be making big batches for our testing methods. We are trying to conduct now also because the cases of COVID-19 here in our town started to rise so it is making it hard for us to find resources and materials for our study.

I would also like to ask, it was stated in a study about making an SAP too that, The natural oils from avocado peels were used to prevent clogging when water is poured into the SAP. But, we've noticed in our final product that it was kind of clogging since the powder couldn't absorb any water and form into a gel. What do you think might cause it, Mr. Sybee?

Also, we might be trying to conduct another SAP using sweet potato peels but we are quite not sure how fermentation works and gelatinization.

Here is the paper, you might want to check it out since this is the procedure that we will be following:
KYAZIKE-CAES-BAGE.pdf
(1.69 MiB) Downloaded 12 times


I hope you are doing well there Mr. Sybee, I really hope our SAP will finally work since we've all been through a lot. I just hope this will work so we can proceed to conducting our testing methods, by then, we will also be writing our papers. I've also heard that it's snowing there in your country. I would also like to witness one, but sadly, there's no snow here in the Philippines. I'm so glad you get to experience that.

Let's be kind and carry on,
Reynel

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Re: Help! Procedure in Making SAP Using Orange and Avocado.

Postby Reynel » Fri Feb 12, 2021 6:28 pm

Hi Mr. Sybee,

Thank you for the advice! We will be trying to oven-dry the peels after it was boiled and strained overnight. We will oven-dry it in 50-60 degree celsius for 10 minutes. We will observe if it dries the lemon peels just so there will be no moisture and no molds will be formed. Then we'll proceed to sun-drying it for 1-3 days.
We will also gonna try to oven-dry both lemon and and avocado in 50-60 degree celsius for 10 minutes too and proceed to sun dry both of them again for 1-3 days. Since we are not quite sure that the cross-linking happens during sundrying, I guess it is best to oven dry the peels at first but proceed to sundrying it.

We are still thinking of different ideas that we can use to perform the experiment. It is quite hard here today since it is a bit strict because of COVID 19. I hope this works well. Thank you for the help!

All the best,
Reynel

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Re: Help! Procedure in Making SAP Using Orange and Avocado.

Postby SciB » Fri Feb 12, 2021 6:44 pm

Hi Reynel,

Sorry to hear that the virus has been active again in your town. In the U.S., the number of cases has decreased but we are all worried about the mutant strains that are more infectious because the vaccine might not work as well on them. We haven't got the vaccine yet, but maybe by the end of this month.

I wish I knew what to suggest to help you, but it sounds like you are working it out as well as anyone could. I just hope your next batch of SAP holds water. I took a look at the dissertation you uploaded and there's a lot of good information there. It is nice to see that others are taking this water problem seriously and trying to improve the yield of crops on poor soil to help people grow enough food.

I grow a big garden here every year but the season is so short--really only three months--that we have to start things indoors at the right time so they are ready to plant out by the end of May. Things grow fast in the summer and I am always busy canning and freezing vegies, and I give away a lot to the food bank for distribution to anyone who needs food. I use a lot of hay and manure and compost and no chemical fertilizers or pesticides so the crops are organic. The compost I add to the soil increases its water-holding capacity naturally and I don't need SAPs. I do like avocados and oranges, however, and the peels go into the compost pile, so maybe I am making SAP in the compost naturally :) .

I wish you all the best of luck and I know you will succeed. I'm glad that we are all able to help one another even though we are separated by so many miles. If each person in the world helped one other, and they helped another, and they helped another... and so on, eventually the entire world would be working together and we would all be one happy human family, as it should be.

Happy days,
Sybee

Reynel
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Re: Help! Procedure in Making SAP Using Orange and Avocado.

Postby Reynel » Fri Feb 12, 2021 8:06 pm

Hi Mr. Sybee,

Thank you so much for encouraging us and giving us a little push. Yeah, I agree, I hope we can all help each other and realize that helping someone go up won't bring us down. I'm glad to hear that there are chances you'll be having your vaccine by the end of this month. I hope the vaccine will also work for the new variant/strain of virus.

Here in the Philippines we have a lot of farmers and agricultural land and irrigation system is quite a problem here since it is expensive so I hope our study will be helpful to the agricultural community.

I would like to ask Mr. Sybee if you know what is meant by fermentation since if we're gonna try using Sweet potato peels we will be fermenting it instead of boiling. We don't know yet the exact process and what it means. I also don't know about gelatinization. I hope you could help us about this.
This is a process included in the dissertation I sent.

Thank you for your time,
Reynel

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Re: Help! Procedure in Making SAP Using Orange and Avocado.

Postby lakshu_s » Sat Feb 13, 2021 2:32 am

Hi Reynel,
Hope you are doing well! I will answer your questions in your topic. The reason that I added the lemon juice was because it lowers the pH of the mixture and neutralizes the negative charges on the polysaccharide strands of pectin, so they could assemble into a network and form a gel. It's good to know you have many plans in place to get a SAP--I'm sure you will. My best wishes for your project to succeed :)
To answer your questions:
1. I sundried my peels (avocado and orange) for 7-10 days. Of course, that depends on how much sun and heat your area is getting. Missouri and your region are probably way different.
2. I dried my orange and avocado peels together, but I don't think it matters. And especially since you are getting mold on your peels, I would try to dry them separately and see what happens.
3. The inside of my avocadoes were green and the outside skin was violet so...yeah.
Let me know if you have any other questions :) Take care!

Stay safe and warm,
Lakshita

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Re: Help! Procedure in Making SAP Using Orange and Avocado.

Postby SciB » Sat Feb 13, 2021 5:51 am

Hi Reynel,

In answer to your questions, fermentation is a bacterial process that occurs under specific conditions and with specific microbes so it is hard to give a general description. As long as you follow the procedure in the thesis about sweet potatoes you can be confident that it will work. You could try searching 'sweet potato fermentation' and see what you get. When you do the experiment, try to get organic sweet potatoes that have not been sprayed or treated in any way as this could inhibit fermentation.

Gelatinization (I would simply call it 'gelling') is a physical-chemical process in which a polymer forms a cross-linked structure at the molecular level. This makes the mixture 'set up' as with gelatin in Jello or starch in pudding. The gel is the polymer matrix that absorbs the water--something like a porous sponge that swells up. That is what you are trying to make with the pectin and oils from the avocado peels.

I hope you have good success this time. Don't be discouraged. This is how science progresses--as a systematic series of trials and tests until the correct set of conditions is found and BINGO! It works! That's a happy moment, that makes up for the frustration in getting to that point.

We are one...

Sybee

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Re: Help! Procedure in Making SAP Using Orange and Avocado.

Postby Reynel » Sun Feb 14, 2021 8:38 pm

Hi Ms. Lakshita,

Thank you so much for answering our questions. I'm sorry it took too long for us to reply, but we are grateful for your help. Thank you also for explaining to us the purpose of soaking the peels in lemon juice.
We will be trying different experiments and processes and we'll get back to you once we have the results.
I hope this finally works so we can proceed to our final experiment and testing methods.

I hope you find something good in every day,
Reynel

Hi Mr. Sybee,
We conducted an experiment yesterday using Lemon peels, with the same procedure but will be sun dried for 3-4 days while the other one is not soaked in lemon juice and the strained liquid wont be used so we won't oven dry it.
But, our avocado is not ripe yet so we choose to use the over ripe avocados that can't be eaten just so the resources won't be wasted. The avocado may affect the results but I hope this works. We are still going to conduct a new experiment once the other avocados are ripe.

About the fermentation of sweet potato peels, it was not stated how did the fermentation goes. It was only stated to ferment the peels so now we are still trying to find the right way of fermenting the peels.

While the gelatinization process or as you said "gelling", I think its a bit different from the gelling of the SAP to what is stated in the dissertation.
It says that the sundried sweet potato peels were milled then the powder underwent gelatinization process.
The gel was dried on metal pans into a film.
The gel film was ground to fine particles using a milling machine.
The fine particles were sieved to particle size 250μm. These fine particles are what was termed as the water absorbent materials.

We are guessing that to gelatinize the powder, we will be adding water and wait or stir until it thickens and dry it on metals pans into film just as stated above. But we are quite not sure about this that's why we can't really perform the Sweet Potato SAP. What are your thoughts about his, Mr. Sybee?

Thank you so much for constantly checking up on us,
Reynel

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Re: Help! Procedure in Making SAP Using Orange and Avocado.

Postby SciB » Mon Feb 15, 2021 6:05 am

Hi Reynel,

Thanks for updating me on the progress of your SAP project. I'm glad Lakshita mentioned the importance of using the lemon juice as the acidity should help to inhibit mold growth as well as promote polymerization.

I think the the overripe avocados will do fine as long as the skins are not moldy. How much of the flesh do you leave on when you peel them? I don't know if this matters, but there is a lot of oil in the flesh and Lakshita said the oil is needed for the orange peel pectin to polymerize properly. Are you writing down all the steps that you perform in detail? That's important when working with complex systems like this with a lot of variables.

Fermentation can be done by naturally occurring yeasts, but molds would not be welcome. Did you do a search for sweet potato fermentation?

What is the difference between gelatinization and gelling? I thought they were the same--molecular crosslinks form between polymer or protein strands to hold them together in a matrix that will absorb water. The process as you described it sounds complicated and not totally clear, so be sure to keep track of all the steps and try to just change one thing at a time.

Good luck and keep us posted on your progress.

Stay safe,

Sybee

Reynel
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Re: Help! Procedure in Making SAP Using Orange and Avocado.

Postby Reynel » Mon Feb 15, 2021 6:28 pm

Hi Mr. Sybee,

About the avocados, as much as possible we try to remove all the flesh since we thought it might cause the formation of molds also, but now, we will try to leave some flesh on the peels to see the difference.

Regarding about the fermentation of the sweet potato peels, we saw a process wherein it soaks the peels in the water for three days in a jar. But, after three days, and once we got the peels out, it has a very foul smell that we couldn't take. Thus, we were quite unsure if it really is the right process of fermentation.

We haven't really seen a definite process on gelatinization or "gelling". I guess it really is the same thing. But there are no exact process included on how to gelatinize the powder.
According to the paper, this is how the process goes:

1. Sweet potato and irish potato peels were fermented (Adegunloye and Oparinde,2017)and orange peels boiling for softening.
2. 3kg of each of the peels were mixed with 1kg of avocado peels
3. The peels were dried and milled to particle size 250μm. The orange peel based WAM was obtained at this step.
4. The other three underwent gelatinization where after the gel was dried to
films which were milled to particle size 250μm and hence WAMs formed.

We are really confused about the process of the Sweet Potato. We will learn about the process of it later because we have a lot of school works left. We will update you Mr. Sybee once we have different information regarding this. We will be studying and dedicating our time this evening for Research.

I hope you are doing well and warm there,
Reynel

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Re: Help! Procedure in Making SAP Using Orange and Avocado.

Postby SciB » Tue Feb 16, 2021 1:49 pm

Hi Reynel,

I hope you are staying cool where you are--and safe, of course. The temp here is supposed to go back down to -15C tomorrow which means all the rain we had today is gonna freeze and make driving risky, so I think we'll stay home.

The sweet potato fermentation sounds tricky. You really should have a starter culture of whatever microbes are needed to do the fermentation properly. It might smell yeasty, but it shouldn't be foul. Did you find out any more about the procedure online? Let me know when you have questions and i can try to explain.

If you do a search on google scholar, try to find papers that are published in open access journals. It is so frustrating to find a good paper, only to be told that you have to pay $39 to read it!

Study hard for your exams so you do really well. Your future depends on the foundation that you are preparing right now, as I tell
Lakshita, and it is worth every effort that you can put into it. I'm here to help, so just send me a message and I'll get back to you.

Best wishes,

Sybee

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Re: Help! Procedure in Making SAP Using Orange and Avocado.

Postby Reynel » Fri Feb 19, 2021 10:09 pm

Hi Mr. Sybee,

Thank you for the advice and encouraging us! We have another bad news, the SAP that we made last February 14, using Lemon peels and Overripe Avocados, failed. The results are just the same, the powder did not form into a gel as what it was supposed to be. In this experiment we used two procedures, Ms. Lakshita’s and the other is from the dissertation I sent.
Sample 1 from Ms. Lakshita:
1. We soaked the peels in lemon juice for 2 hours
2. Boiled it and was able to strain 40 ml of liquid
3. Strained liquid was stored in a jar in the refrigerator
4. Over ripe avocado was added (no flesh, just peels) and sun dried together for 5 days
6. The 40 ml strained liquid was added to the peels
7. Oven dried for 100 degree celsius for about 50 minutes. (This took too long because the peels won’t dry) (The peels also turned black and looked burnt.
8. Blended but not really fine enough.

When we tested it, the powder just remained the same. Just like our other experiments, it turned out the same. While the other sample, the one which uses the procedure from another dissertation.
Sample 2 from another dissertation:
1. Boiled the lemon peels
2. Strained the liquid
3. And discarded it
4. Over ripe avocado was added (no flesh, just peels) and sun dried together for 5 days
8. Blended but not really fine enough.
The results are also the same. It did not turn into a gel.

But, here’s our other guess. This might be due to what you’ve said that we didn’t have the flesh of avocados and just used peels. This might be why our SA clogs and does not absorb because there are no oils since we just used peels only. We conducted another Lemon SAP last February 16 and Sundried it Last February 17. It will end Tomorrow and we will be able to test it by February 22 if it works since in that Experiment we added a bit of flesh as what you’ve said. We are expecting that by February 22, the Experiment 2 that we conducted will be successful. And if it does, We will be conducting big batches of SAP at night. So that by February 28, we will be able to have enough amount of SAP for our different testing methods. And, by March 1 we will start planting.

If the experiment doesn’t work well, we no longer know what really is the problem with our SAP. We are guessing that it really is the oil from the flesh since our past experiments we just used peels. And the last experiment that we conducted using orange peels and avocado peels with no flesh also did not work. SO that is our guess by now that the problem really is because there is no flesh of avocado that can be a source of natural oils. We are a month behind our timeline now and there have been big changes in our future plans. But we are really hoping that all our efforts will be paid off soon and our future experiments will be successful.

This is the file of the pictures of our results:

[The extension docx has been deactivated and can no longer be displayed.]



Can I ask Mr. Sybee what are your thoughts in our experiment and any other reasons why it didn’t work out well? I hope you could respond to us. We are working well and finding different reasons why it don’t work and other reasons to save our SAP.

Thank you for your time,
Reynel

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Re: Help! Procedure in Making SAP Using Orange and Avocado.

Postby Reynel » Fri Feb 19, 2021 11:55 pm

Hi Mr. Sybee,

How are you doing? I have another question, we are having a hard time calibrating our Salinity meter. For our testing methods number 1 where we're going to test the absorption capacity of SAP with different sources of water, we will be needing to test their salt content since it affects the absorption capacity. But, we are having a hard time finding the right solution to calibrate our Salinity Meter. We are using a salinity meter (check the file for the picture of the salinity meter and its manual).
It says we need to have a solution, we saw on other videos that they are using a EC1413 solution which is 1.4 ppt. But, our salinity meter doesn't come with a solution and we don't have any idea where to get that. We are trying to find how to make a diy salinity calibrating solution but haven't been able to find a good alternative yet. I heard that Ms. Lakshita also used a Salinity meter for her experiment, can I ask how did she calibrated hers? We try as much as possible not to post anything in her topic so that she won't be confused with her topic and keep it organized. If you could ask her for us we would appreciate it. Or if you know how we could calibrate our salinity meter, it would be a big help to us. Thank you Mr. Sybee for always being there to help us. We feel a little less lost now that we have someone that guides us from time to time. Thank you!

Picture of our Salinity Meter and its manual:

[The extension docx has been deactivated and can no longer be displayed.]




Wishing you all the best,
Reynel

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Re: Help! Procedure in Making SAP Using Orange and Avocado.

Postby SciB » Sat Feb 20, 2021 6:21 am

Hi Reynel,

I hope you are well this morning (GMT -5).

We are always here and our goal is to help you feel "less lost"!

I read the instructions of your salinity meter and they have you doing the calibration with a solution of 35 parts per thousand, which is the same as 3.5 parts per hundred, which is the same as 3.5%, which just happens to be the salinity of sea water--which is why they chose that for calibration, I think.

If you are near the ocean, which in the Philippines is probably the case, you can use sea water to test the meter, but the salinity of sea water can vary depending on its location relative to any nearby sources of fresh water, like a river, so I would suggest that you make the saline test solution. If you do have sea water, then you can test it after you have calibrated the meter to see how close it is.

A 35 ppt solution of NaCl is made by dissolving 35 g of table salt in 1 liter of distilled water (DW). In case you didn't know, one gram weighs about the same as one milliliter of water, so you can assume they are equivalent. 35 g of NaCl per 1000 mL of DW is the same as 35 ppt. Dissolve the salt in DW that is about 20C and measure the salinity after zeroing the meter with DW as instructed. If the reading is not 35, then adjust the calibration trimmer until the meter reads 35. That's all there is to it.

Good luck and let me know if this works OK.

Sybee


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