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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: POST HARVEST MEASUREMENT AND MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS TO IMPROVE PEANUT QUALITY AND US COMPETITIVENESS

Location: Peanut Research

2008 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
Objective 1: Develop a portable sensor and measurement systems to measure moisture in-shell and shelled peanuts during various post harvest processes.

Objective 2: Develop and maintain a database of peanut quality parameters and processing characteristics for commercial peanut varieties.

Objective 3: Develop peanut curing, transportation, and storage systems and management processes that maintain quality and minimize unit costs and quality deterioration during post harvest processing.

Objective 4: Expand the peanut curing decision support system to include new drying equipment and to support management of inventory from the field into the warehouse.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
This research will be conducted over a five year period and will consist of laboratory and prototype scale testing. During year 1, runner type peanuts will be dried from various initial moisture contents to a final moisture content of approximately 11% using four levels of incident radiant energy in a laboratory scale catalytic infrared dehydrator. In-shell peanuts will be harvested and divided into five samples approximately 20 kg each. The initial moisture content of each of the samples will be determined using the oven method (ASAE S410.1). As a control, one sample will be dried using conventional forced air curing systems that heat the air 8C above ambient but no higher than 35C. The remaining samples will be dried using four different incident energy levels while recording pod surface temperature. Moisture content will be determined during drying by monitoring the sample mass. Drying will be terminated when the desired mass loss has occurred. The test will be repeated throughout the peanut harvest season, using peanuts with initial moisture contents ranging from 20 to 13%. Each sample will be shelled using a model sheller and kernels separated into commercial sizes to determine milling quality. The shelled peanuts will be subdivided into smaller samples to determine the vigor index, single kernel moisture distribution, and the presence/absence of off flavors. The single kernel moisture distribution will be measured using a Shizouka Seiki CTR-160P.Data will be analyzed using incident energy levels as drying treatments and tests replicated throughout the peanut harvest. The effect of the incident radiant energy on peanut drying time, milling quality, seed germination and vigor, and the incidence of off-flavors will be determined using analysis of variance.


3.Progress Report
Research was continued toward determining the effects and feasibility of storing farmer stock peanuts in low oxygen atmospheres. Efforts continued to develop instrumentation to measure peanut moisture content while still in the shell to reduce labor and cost of monitoring and measuring moisture content during post harvest processing. A project was conducted to determine the feasibility of using existing sorting technology based on imaging to non-destructive evaluation of peanut value and quality was conducted. Research was initiated to evaluate the use of near infrared imaging for evaluating peanut quality. Collaboration with peanut breeders to evaluate post harvest physical properties of advanced breeding lines grown in multiple locations across the United States was continued.

This progress relates to National Program 306 Quality and Utilization of Agricultural Products Action Plan, Component 1 Quality Characterization, Preservation and Enhancement, Problem Area 1b Methods to Evaluate and Predict Quality.


4.Accomplishments
1. Physical Property Database Assembled and Placed Online. Physical property data of advanced breeding lines of peanuts have been collected as a result of collaborative tests with United States peanut breeders since 2001. The physical property data has been assembled into a searchable on-line database. Data can be searched based on peanut market type, growing area, and downloaded for statistical analysis.

This accomplishments relates to National Program 306 Quality and Utilization of Agricultural Products Action Plan, Component 1 Quality Characterization, Preservation and Enhancement, Problem Area 1b Methods to Evaluate and Predict Quality.

2. Peanut Curing Management Software Updated. The peanut curing management software was updated based on user input. Updated version of the decision support system may be downloaded from the lab website (www.ars.usda.gov/saa/nprl) increasing availability to end users. Software has been distributed to users across the U.S. and in Australia.

This accomplishments relates to National Program 306 Quality and Utilization of Agricultural Products Action Plan, Component 1 Quality Characterization, Preservation and Enhancement, Problem Area 1b Methods to Evaluate and Predict Quality.


5.Significant Activities that Support Special Target Populations
None.


6.Technology Transfer

Number of Non-Peer Reviewed Presentations and Proceedings5

Review Publications
Butts, C.L., Kandala, C., Sorensen, R.B., Lamb, M.C. 2007. In-shell Bulk Density as an Estimator of Farmers Stock Grade Factors. Peanut Science 34(2)135-141.

Last Modified: 7/28/2014
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