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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Dawson, Georgia » National Peanut Research Laboratory » Research » Research Project #429144

Research Project: Postharvest Systems to Assess and Preserve Peanut Quality and Safety

Location: National Peanut Research Laboratory

Project Number: 6044-41430-006-00-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Jul 1, 2015
End Date: Jun 30, 2020

Objective:
Objective 1: Establish new commercial equipment/methods to reduce labor and time to accurately sample farmers stock and shelled peanut lots and accurately determine peanut quality parameters including, but not limited to, foreign material, damage, oil chemistry, and kernel size distribution. Sub-objective 1.A. Establish new sampling plans and equipment to obtain representative samples of consistent size from semi-drying trailer loads of farmers stock peanuts. Sub-objective 1.B. Develop instrumentation systems combining the radio frequency dielectric with spectral properties to measure total oil content and the relative proportions of the oleic and linoleic fatty acids. Objective 2: Enable use of existing and develop new commercial peanut curing (drying and processing) systems to reduce non-uniformity of moisture in farmers stock and shelled peanuts, and extend quality during storage and transport. Objective 3: Enable new commercial uses of shelled-peanut bulk packaging and storage systems, utilizing temperature/relative humidity/oxygen modified atmospheres, to control mold and insect damage.

Approach:
In a globally competitive market, the United States peanut industry must closely monitor and reduce the costs of producing, marketing, and processing peanuts for the global consumer. Peanut quality and safety are paramount and require considerable labor and capital to ensure that a safe, high quality product is delivered to the intended customer. This project is not limited to a single aspect of handling and processing peanuts, but examines peanut handling and processing on the farm to delivery of raw product to the manufacturer. The overall goal of this project is to reduce the post-harvest processing costs which include the cost of measuring and monitoring quality, quality degradation, and physical loss of product. Specifically, the objectives include: 1) Establish new commercial equipment/methods to reduce labor and time to accurately sample farmers stock and shelled peanut lots and accurately determine peanut quality, 2) Enable use of existing and develop new commercial peanut curing (drying and processing) systems to reduce non-uniformity of moisture in farmers stock and shelled peanuts, 3) Enable new commercial uses of shelled-peanut bulk packaging and storage systems, utilizing temperature/relative humidity/oxygen modified atmospheres.