Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Raleigh, North Carolina » Food Science and Market Quality and Handling Research Unit » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #340223

Research Project: Improvement and Maintenance of Flavor, Shelf Life, Functional Characteristics, and Biochemical/Bioactive Components in Peanuts, Peanut Products and Related Commodities through Improved Handling, ...

Location: Food Science and Market Quality and Handling Research Unit

Title: Cotyledon density measurements on valencia peanuts grown in the Southwest United States as a tool for developing food products

item Dean, Lisa
item Hendrix, Keith
item WILSON, N - Gene Tech Group
item PUPPALA, NAVEEM - New Mexico State University
item WILSON, J - Ready Roast Nut Company
item SMYTH, DOUGLAS - Ready Roast Nut Company

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/31/2017
Publication Date: 7/12/2017
Citation: Dean, L.L., Hendrix, K., Wilson, N.D., Puppala, N., Wilson, J.N., Smyth, D. 2017. Cotyledon density measurements on valencia peanuts grown in the Southwest United States as a tool for developing food products. Meeting Abstract. Vol. 49.

Interpretive Summary: The peanut market type Valencia is a minor component of the U.S. peanut crop but is the major market type grown in New Mexico. The flavor and texture is different from most peanuts in that they are sweeter, more highly roast peanut flavored and have a harder, more "crunchy" texture. These differences may lend themselves to certain products that contain peanuts such as snack nut mixes. They are also able to be grown organically. This study determined how the texture of Valencia peanuts differed from Runner and Virginia peanuts that currently together make up 95% of the U.S. peanut crop. With this information, producers of peanut products may be better able to judge how they can use Valencia peanuts to increase the appeal of their products to consumers.

Technical Abstract: Valencia peanuts (Arachis hypogaea L. ssp. fastigiata) are able to complete seed development in an environment where extreme temperature variation and water deficit are common and growing season is short. Valencia seed can command a premium in food products as consumers like special properties like the bright red seed coat, pods with 3 or 4 kernels, the roasted and sweet flavor of the end product, or the fact that the plants can be grown using organic methods. Differences in single kernel texture such as crunchiness or hardness have been determined significant in controlled consumer tests on snack nuts made with Runner or Virginia seeds. Kernel density can be a characterizing positive trait, or alternatively, the basis for complaints depending on consumer expectations. This study reports cotyledon density properties as part of a larger study to understand how to optimize the use of High Plains Valencia seed in snack nut products. Valencia cotyledon density was evaluated in seed grown in the 2015 and 2016 High Plains crops. Runner cultivar Georgia 06G was a check for lower cotyledon density and softer texture. A step gradient of NaCl solutions in the concentration range of 10-15% (w/w) effectively demonstrated buoyancy differences in the distribution of raw cotyledon densities of Runner and Virginia type peanuts depending on growing region and cultivar genetics after earlier studies in 5 crop years. Seeds developed the greatest cotyledon density in the High Plains growing region versus seeds grown in the eastern United States. Traditional Valencia cultivars Valencia C, GeneTex 116, GeneTex 118, and GeneTex 136 had cotyledon composition on the dense side with calculated midpoint cotyledon densities in saline concentrations of 14.3, 13.7, 14, and 13.6%, respectively, for 2015 crop year. A new Valencia cultivar NewMex-01 and check Runner cultivar Georgia 06G grown in the High Plains both had estimated midpoint densities at 11.7% saline concentration. The Valencia cotyledon density profiles of traditional cultivars are similar to those of Runner and Virginia commercial types grown in the High Plains, suggesting that there may be common biochemical adjustments to severe environmental stresses. Kernel densities are one raw material property that can be selected to satisfy consumers’ preference for firmer and crunchier snack peanuts simply by picking growing environment. The preliminary density measurements with Valencia NuMex-01 suggest that cotyledon density might be reduced by making more diverse crosses between different genotypes. This genetic variation might give the peanut breeder some flexibility to generate seeds with different textures while using the same High Plains growing region.