Development of Peanut Postharvest Handling and Processing Technologies for the Food Industry
The goal of UGA 04U was to identify new market opportunities for peanut and peanut-based products and to develop and optimize products to meet market needs. Inherent in the goal is to work with interested small- medium or large-scale processors to assist them in bringing new and acceptable products to the consumers.
The signing of a Memorandum of Agreement for the transfer of technologies for “Vitamin A Fortification of Peanut Butter” and the “Control of Aflatoxin in Peanut Butter Products through Sorting” was held June 23, 1999. The collaborations included the National Food Authority, Food Development Center, Newborn Food Products, Inc., and the University of Georgia. This was made possible largely due to the support of the Peanut CRSP.
Press releases of the signing ceremony came out in leading newspapers marking the formal turnover of the technologies to industry collaborators in the Philippines. In a separate activity, samples of Vitamin A fortified peanut butter and aflatoxin-free peanut sauce made by the PeanutCRSP-supported processing technologies were presented in an exhibit during the recent launching of the “Proper Food Handling Program” by the Philippine Government held at the Food Development Center on July 19, 1999. The launching was attended by members of the Philippine Department of Agriculture and members of the President’s Cabinet.
A project entitled “A Strategy for Bringing Fortified Foods to the Market” was developed for funding by the under-secretary of the Department of Health and by program officers of UNICEF. A major change in processing practices for peanut products was achieved in the Philippines through the development of a Standard Sanitation Operating Procedure Manual and the training of workers was being implemented. Good manufacturing practices were in place. A system for evaluating the impact of this contribution through periodic plant inspections and ratings using the document prepared, will keep companies aware of the new practices to be adhered to, and therefore ensure production of fortified peanut products, such as peanut butter, are of the highest quality. New state-of-the-art food processing laboratories and pilot plants are in place at the Food Development Center.
Partnerships with the peanut processing industries are allowing transfer of technologies as they are developed. Research studies include working directly with industries in their processing plants to test and implement technologies. The market-pull concept was in place assuring relevance of research, and the ability of scientists to solve objectives/problems through basic and applied research approaches. A survey showed that if the value added peanut product market was strengthened, e.g., peanut butter instead of unshelled or shelled raw and roasted peanut, profits increased, farmers would raise production levels, an incentive for strengthening research on post-harvest and processing technologies. Clearly, the Peanut CRSP is having an impact on post-harvest and marketing of peanut products in the Philippines. C
onsumer demand for Vitamin-A fortified peanut butter was setting industry priorities in food processing to assure nutritious products. This was further emphasized by the news media with popular articles educating the consumer on the importance of nutrition. Food safety, e.g., aflatoxin-free, in the processing plant are being demanded by the Philippine Government and the consumer. These occurrences show the applicability of the Peanut CRSP research programs in the host country, the Philippines. The technologies are also being used to improve ways the peanut was handled and processed in the U.S. The nutritional and food safety data have relevancies, regionally and globally, especially where protein-deficient diets exist. The work is mainly focused on the disciplines of food processing, food safety, and nutritional sciences. As demand for peanut products grow, studies will become more closely coordinated with breeding programs to assure new cultivars meet food functional, sensory and nutritional qualities. The results of this project were having socioeconomic impacts in the Philippines.
Post-harvest and marketing technologies
Dr. Anna V.A. Resurreccion
University of Georgia
Dr. M.S. Chinnan and Dr. Larry Beuchat, University of Georgia
Dr. A.O. Lustre, Food Development Centre
Dr. L.S. Palomar, Visayas College of Agriculture
Flor C.F. Galvez, University of the Philippines/Dilliman