No, it's not a prop from Dr Who. Still, the mysterious box shown here with researcher Davis Moser could catapult pulse growers into the future with greater efficiencies, profitability and market access.
We're looking at a prototype decorticator or, more simply put, equipment which removes the seed coat from pulse seeds, splits them and makes them ready for market.
The box is the brainchild of David Moser of the University of SA and will be trialed in commercial pulse-processing plants when this edition of Ground Cover goes to press.
Dr Moser said he couldn't show off the equipment in detail as it was subject to a commercial-in-confidence agreement between the University, the pulse-processing industry and the GRDC.
"We want to ensure that the technology is protected for the benefit of Australia's farmers and industry," he said.
"The equipment is designed to efficiently remove seed coats and act more uniformly than existing equipment on large grains so that there is less lower-priced kibble (cracked grain), less pollard and a better-looking product.
"Processing plants currently rely on abrasive-type equipment to dehull seed. It's an attrition process, which really grinds the coat off, and in so doing can damage the seed.
"With our prototype we know we can produce a good product — the next step is to see if it is commercially viable."
Contact: Dr David Moser 08 8302 3614