Source: AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH SERVICE submitted to
IMPROVE US PEANUT COMPETITIVENESS THROUGH POST HARVEST MANAGEMENT AND QUALITY ENHANCING TECHNOLOGY
Sponsoring Institution
Agricultural Research Service/USDA
Project Status
TERMINATED
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
0406522
Grant No.
(N/A)
Project No.
6604-41430-001-00D
Proposal No.
(N/A)
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
(N/A)
Project Start Date
Oct 29, 2002
Project End Date
Sep 25, 2004
Grant Year
(N/A)
Project Director
BUTTS C L
Recipient Organization
AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH SERVICE
(N/A)
DAWSON,GA 31742
Performing Department
(N/A)
Non Technical Summary
(N/A)
Animal Health Component
60%
Research Effort Categories
Basic
40%
Applied
60%
Developmental
0%
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
2041830202020%
4021830202040%
5031830202020%
7121830202020%
Goals / Objectives
Improve the competitive position of US peanuts in a global market by reducing losses in quality and value due to changes in a) foreign material, b) moisture content c) kernel size distribution, and d) aflatoxin contamination during post harvest transportation, curing, storage, and handling. Develop methods to objectively measure peanut quality factors that may be used in directing peanuts into specific market applications based on detailed quality specifications.
Project Methods
Removal of foreign material from peanuts is a high priority for the peanut industry. Research will be conducted to develop new techniques and equipment to remove foreign material from peanuts as early in the post harvest process as possible. Peanut value decreases (shrinks) from the time they are harvested due to changes in moisture content and kernel size distribution. Peanut shrink can cost the industry millions of dollars in a single year and should be minimized during drying and storage. Research will be conducted to develop aeration and ventilation management regimes to minimize fan operation, post harvest insect damage, and shrink. Reducing the value loss of the average US peanut crop by 0.25% would result in a $1.2 million savings annually. Peanut quality is a nebulous concept that includes kernel size, moisture content, flavor, and storability. Research will be conducted to measure physical and textural properties such as dielectric and optical spectral response, and strength and correlate those properties to peanut quality characteristics. These physical properties will be used to develop methods and instruments to measure quality parameters during post harvest processes such as curing and storage.

Progress 10/01/03 to 09/30/04

Outputs
1. What major problem or issue is being resolved and how are you resolving it (summarize project aims and objectives)? How serious is the problem? What does it matter? The US peanut industry is in a period of dramatic economic decline brought about by increasing competition in international marketing. Recent changes in the marketing system have narrowed the margin of profitability in every segment of the peanut industry including growers, shellers, and manufacturers. All segments must compete in the global market. The US peanut industry must reduce post harvest losses in quality and value due to changes in a) foreign material, b) moisture content, c) kernel size distribution, and d) aflatoxin contamination during post harvest transportation, to improve the competitive position of US peanuts in a global market. Engineers at the National Peanut Research Laboratory are developing methods to improve curing, storage, and shelling to minimize product deterioration and developing methods and instrumentation to objectively measure peanut quality factors that may be used in directing peanuts into specific market applications based on detailed quality specifications. 2. List the milestones (indicators of progress) from your Project Plan. This project is scheduled to terminate in FY2004 and has not been through an OSQR review. The overall objectives of the project were to: (1) Reduce losses in quality and value due to changes in a) foreign material, b) moisture content, c) kernel size distribution, and d) aflatoxin contamination during post harvest transportation, curing, storage, and handling. (2) Develop technology and equipment to accurately characterize and measure peanut quality. (3) Develop a new project and complete the review process as required by the Office of Scientific Quality Review. 3. Milestones: During FY 2004, guidelines were developed for designing and operating aeration systems to remove excess heat and moisture from in-shell peanuts while loading bulk storage facilities to substantially meet objective (1) above. To address objective (2) above, a method to measure the peanut kernel moisture content still in the shell was developed; a system was developed and tested to control the speed of insertion of the pneumatic sampling probe and produce more consistently sized samples for official grade determination; the sample divider for the pneumatic probe was modified to improve the uniformity of the divided samples obtained by the pneumatic sample; a device to properly adjust the air flow for pneumatic sampler was developed; and to accommodate the implementation of grading and marketing peanuts at moisture contents greater than 10.5% moisture content, calibrations for commercial electronic moisture meters were developed to extend their range of operation to 40% moisture content. A new project, "Post Harvest Measurement and Measurement Systems to Improve Peanut Quality and US Competitiveness", was submitted and completed the OSQR Peer Review Process. This project has been completed and is being replaced by a project that was recently reviewed by the Office of Scientific Quality Review and approved. The replacement project, "Post Harvest Measurement and Measurement Systems to Improve Peanut Quality and US Competitiveness" will be implemented in early September 2004. The milestones for Years 1 (FY 2005), Year 2 (FY 2006), and Year 3 (FY 2007) from the approved project plan are shown: Year 1 (FY 2005) Collect and analyze dielectric frequency response for shelled and in- shell peanuts. Develop impedance measurement system and sensor. Conduct calibration tests. Initiate searchable database from existing physical property data of peanuts gathered during collaborative Uniform Peanut Performance Trials. Perform physical property analysis of 2004 crop year samples. Conduct laboratory-scale studies to determine feasibility of infrared heating for curing peanuts with minimal detrimental effects on peanut quality. Construct and instrument 1/10th scale structures to initiate controlled atmosphere storage research for storing farmer stock peanuts. Perform computer simulation studies for curing peanuts to develop simplified model for inclusion in existing peanut curing decision support system. Year 2 (FY 2006) Modify multi-frequency measurement system and develop probe(s) for bulk measurements. Collect runner peanut calibration data. Update physical properties database. Begin data mining to determine trends in peanut physical properties due to growing region. Collect current crop year data. Conduct pilot scale infrared drying tests using operating parameters developed in Year 1. Modify controlled atmosphere control parameters based on Year 1 results. Repeat controlled atmosphere studies in 1/10th scale structures. Initiate commercial-scale CA storage studies. Validate simplified drying model using peanut curing data from cooperating curing facilities and on-site tests. Release revised decision support system to beta-testers. Year 3 (FY 2007) Refine probe(s) for measurement system. Collect calibration data for all market types. Update physical properties database. Continue data mining and develop on- line access for reporting. Modify infrared curing system operating parameters. Continue pilot-scale curing tests evaluating fuel consumption, drying rates, and impact on quality. Modify controlled atmosphere storage control parameters based on results from year 2. Repeat studies in 1/10th scale and commercial storage structures. Modify decision support system based on Year 2 results and feedback from test sites. Release revised decision support system. 4. What were the most significant accomplishments this past year? Single Most Significant Accomplishment during FY2004. Measuring the moisture content of peanut kernels is a destructive process and is critical in the control of various processes such as drying and storage. A method to determine peanut kernel moisture content while still in the shell was developed by measuring the dielectric properties of peanuts at multiple radio frequencies. Further development of this method to include portable probes and electronics will improve post harvest processing and reduce costs. Labor and losses due to destructive sampling for commercial curing operations will be reduced. Continued development will provide in-line moisture measurement and control of various processes such as shelling, blanching, and roasting. B. None C. None D. None 5. Describe the major accomplishments over the life of the project, including their predicted or actual impact. Peanut Seed Quality Laboratory: A multi-state, multi-disciplinary collaboration was established to objectively measure physical properties, milling quality, flavor, and chemical attributes of peanut varieties from university and USDA/ARS advanced breeding lines and commercial releases. Peanut breeders from all major peanut producing states grow the same varieties in all peanut producing regions of the US under irrigated and non-irrigated conditions. ARS scientists at the National Peanut Research Laboratory in Dawson, GA and the Market Quality and Handling Unit at Raleigh, NC evaluate peanut quality. This collaboration is the only independent, comprehensive evaluation of peanut seed quality. Marketing High Moisture Peanuts: Current marketing regulations require that peanuts have less than 10.5% moisture content prior to official grading and marketing which requires that peanut remain identity preserved throughout the curing process. This limits the use of cleaning and sorting prior to drying, and practically eliminates the use of continuous flow curing systems. Collaborating with the peanut industry and USDA/AMS, scientists at the National Peanut Research Laboratory, Dawson, GA and the Market Quality and Handling Research Unit, Raleigh, NC developed procedures for grading and determining the value for marketing peanuts as a result of a two-year study. Relationships to convert the high moisture grade factors and unit value to equivalent low moisture (< 10.5%) grade factors and unit value have been developed. Implementing the high moisture grading would lead to the commercial development of continuous flow peanut curing systems or other more efficient curing systems that require sorting and blending peanuts of similar quality and maturity from different farmers. 6. What science and/or technologies have been transferred and to whom? When is the science and/or technology likely to become available to the end- user (industry, farmer, other scientists)? What are the constraints, if known, to the adoption and durability of the technology products? The high moisture marketing results, including equations and conversion tables, have been published in peer reviewed journals as well as provided to the industry and to USDA, AMS and USDA, FAS to implement high moisture marketing. Marketing regulations and resistance by some segments of the industry has constrained the adoption of this technology. Guidelines for designing and installing in-floor aeration systems to remove excess heat and moisture from peanuts while loading a farmer stock warehouse have been transferred to the peanut industry through publication in a handbook published by the American Peanut Shellers Association. The revisions are due to be published in the on-line handbook, Fall 2004. Contractors and warehouse managers are the primary users of the technology.

Impacts
(N/A)

Publications

  • KANDALA, C., NELSON, S.O. RADIO FREQUENCY MEASUREMENTS FOR SENSING MOISTURE IN SMALL SAMPLES OF PEANUTS. ASAE ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL MEETING. 2003.
  • Zhu, H., Lamb, M.C., Butts, C.L., Blankenship, P.D. 2004. Improving peanut yield and grade with surface drip irrigation in undulating topographic fields. Transactions of the ASAE. Paper 032098.
  • Maw, B., Butts, C.L., Purvis, A., Seabold, K., Mullinix, B. 2004. High temperature continuous flow curing of sweet onions. Applied Engineering in Agriculture. vol. 20 (5).


Progress 10/29/02 to 09/25/04

Outputs
1. What major problem or issue is being resolved and how are you resolving it (summarize project aims and objectives)? How serious is the problem? What does it matter? This project should have been marked "final" on 2004 annual report. 4a What was the single most significant accomplishment this past year? This project should have been marked to terminate on 2004 annual report.

Impacts
(N/A)

Publications

  • KANDALA, C., NELSON, S.O. RADIO FREQUENCY MEASUREMENTS FOR SENSING MOISTURE IN SMALL SAMPLES OF PEANUTS. ASAE ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL MEETING. 2003.
  • Zhu, H., Lamb, M.C., Butts, C.L., Blankenship, P.D. 2004. Improving peanut yield and grade with surface drip irrigation in undulating topographic fields. Transactions of the ASAE. Paper 032098.
  • Maw, B., Butts, C.L., Purvis, A., Seabold, K., Mullinix, B. 2004. High temperature continuous flow curing of sweet onions. Applied Engineering in Agriculture. vol. 20 (5).


Progress 10/01/02 to 09/30/03

Outputs
1. What major problem or issue is being resolved and how are you resolving it? The US peanut industry is in a period of dramatic economic decline brought about by increasing competition in international marketing. Recent changes in the marketing system have narrowed the margin of profitability in every segment of the peanut industry including growers, shellers, and manufacturers. All segments must compete in the global market. The US peanut industry must reduce post harvest losses in quality and value due to changes in a) foreign material, b) moisture content, c) kernel size distribution, and d) aflatoxin contamination during post harvest transportation, to improve the competitive position of US peanuts in a global market. Engineers at the National Peanut Research Laboratory are developing methods to improve curing, storage, and shelling to minimize product deterioration and developing methods and instrumentation to objectively measure peanut quality factors that may be used in directing peanuts into specific market applications based on detailed quality specifications. 2. How serious is the problem? Why does it matter? Quality parameters such as aflatoxin, foreign materials, and flavor continue to be major problems for all segments of the peanut industry with severe economic consequences. Peanut value decreases (shrinks) from the time they are harvested due to changes in moisture content and kernel size distribution. Peanut shrink can cost the industry millions of dollars in a single year and should be minimized during drying, storage and processing. Reducing the value loss of the average US peanut crop by 0.25% would result in a $1.2 million savings annually. Peanut quality is a nebulous concept that includes kernel size, moisture content, flavor, and storability. Development of technology and equipment for accurate characterization and measurement of peanut quality would have dramatic effects on peanut quality control and is essential to maintain the competitive advantage that US peanut currently enjoy in global markets because of their consistent quality, safety, and reliability. 3. How does it relate to the National Program(s) and National Program Component(s) to which it has been assigned? Research in this CRIS relates to National Program 306, New Uses, Quality, and Marketability of Plant and Animal Products. The research directly addresses the Pest and Disease Control Component with improved cleaning techniques to remove insects and other foreign material prior to storage. Product Grading and Handling is addressed through the drying and storage research to reduce post harvest losses due to poor moisture management prior to and during storage. Efforts to develop automated sampling and data acquisition systems for the farmers stock grading process also relate to Product Grading and Handling. ARS scientists are collaborating with US peanut breeders in developing and maintaining a database of physical properties and milling characteristics for all commercial peanut and some advanced breeding lines through the Uniform Peanut Performance Trials (UPPT). 4. What were the most significant accomplishments this past year? 4A. Research was conducted to develop guidelines for proper design and operation of warehouse aeration systems that minimize deterioration in peanut quality during storage due to excessive moisture loss, post harvest insect damage, kernel shrinkage, and aflatoxin contamination. Partially funded by the American Peanut Shellers' Association, the National Peanut Research Laboratory in collaboration with University of Georgia Extension Entomologist, Dr. Steve L. Brown, and USDA, ARS Entomologists, Drs. Frank Arthur and James Throne, completed the two-year study to evaluate the cost/benefit of aerating compared to only ventilating the head space of peanut warehouses in the southeastern United States. Guidelines for operating peanut aeration and ventilation systems have been prepared. Adoption of these guidelines could reduce value loss in storage by approximately 0.5% and is equivalent to over $2 million annually. 4B. A system to accurately measure peanut kernel moisture content while still in the shell is non-existent. Engineers at the National Peanut Research Laboratory and Dr. Stuart Nelson of the USDA, ARS, Russell Research Center extended technology to measure single kernel moisture to measure the moisture content of a small sample of in-shell peanuts. Successful development of portable meters and probes will reduce value loss due to inadequate or over drying and losses during the processing. Marketing peanuts before they are dried has been hampered by the poor accuracy of the measurement of peanut moisture contents above 20%. The National Peanut Research Laboratory developed calibration data for current moisture meters to accurately measure the moisture content of shelled peanuts ranging in moisture from 4 to 40%. Incorporation of these calibration data into current moisture meters will facilitate the marketing of peanuts by farmers at higher moisture. Marketing peanuts before drying provides for improved efficiency in drying and storage by sorting and combining peanuts of similar quality earlier in the post harvest system. 4C. None to report. 4D. None to report. 5. Describe the major accomplishments over the life of the project, including their predicted or actual impact. A multi-state, multi-disciplinary collaboration was established to objectively measure physical properties, milling quality, flavor, and chemical attributes of peanut varieties from university and USDA/ARS advanced breeding lines and commercial releases. Peanut breeders from all major peanut producing states grow the same varieties in all peanut producing regions of the US under irrigated and non-irrigated conditions. ARS scientists at the National Peanut Research Laboratory in Dawson, GA and the Market Quality and Handling Unit at Raleigh, NC evaluate peanut quality. The database will yield valuable knowledge in variety selection for growers in various regions of the US and processors for selecting peanut varieties for specific peanut products, vastly improving the efficiency of the peanut industry. 6. What do you expect to accomplish, year by year, over the next 3 years? Year 2004: Complete conversion, including design, testing and calibration, of a bench top meter to measure single kernel moisture content to a portable meter and probe for measuring the moisture content of bulk samples of in-shell peanuts. Investigate the feasibility of alternative methods for curing peanuts such as dielectric heating (radio frequency and/or microwave) and catalytic infrared drying. Continue research to refine recommendations on aeration and ventilation of stored peanuts to minimize loss due to aflatoxin contamination, insect damage, and excessive moisture loss. Continue collaborative effort to measure physical properties, milling quality and flavor related to peanut variety, production conditions, and location. Year 2005: Investigate alternative methods to heating and abrasion for blanching peanuts. Year 2006: In collaboration with USDA, ARS and University entomologists, complete development of advisories based on temperature and humidity conditions for managing insect populations in peanut warehouses. 7. What science and/or technologies have been transferred and to whom? When is the science and/or technology likely to become available to the end- user (industry, farmer, other scientists)? What are the constraints, if known, to the adoption and durability of the technology products? High moisture calibration data has been provided to equipment manufacturers for incorporation into commercially available moisture meters. The adoption and commercial use of this technology will be constrained by the reluctance of the peanut industry to implement high moisture grading and marketing.

Impacts
(N/A)

Publications

  • Blankenship, P. D., Sanders, T. H. Uniform Peanut Performance Tests (UPPT) 2002: Shelling and Physical Properties. Information Bulletin. 467 p.
  • Sanders, T. H., Blankenship, P. D. Uniform Peanut Performance Tests (UPPT) 2002: Chemical, Sensory, and Shelf-Life Properties. Information Bulletin. 389 p.
  • Chung, S. Y., Butts, C. L., Maleki, S. J., Champagne, E. T., Linking peanut allergenicity to the processes of maturation, curing, and roasting. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2003. v. 51(15). p. 4273-4277.
  • Kandala, C. V. K., Butts, C. L. Comparison of RF impedance and DC conductance measurements for single peanut kernel moisture determination. Proceedings of the American Peanut Research and Education Society. 2002. v 34. Abstract p.110.
  • Blankenship, P. D., Sheppard, H. T., Sanders, T. H., Bolder, D. Development of a low-cost imaging system for determining shell brightness of Valencia peanuts. Proceedings of the American Peanut Research and Education Society. 2002. v. 34. Abstract p. 76.
  • Butts, C. L., Williams, E. J. The effect of floor open area on airflow distribution in peanut drying trailers. Proceedings of the American Peanut Research and Education Society. 2002. v. 34. Abstract p. 74.
  • BUTTS, C.L., DAVIDSON, J.I., LAMB, M.C., KANDALA, C., TROEGER, J.M. A DECISION SUPPORT SYSTEM FOR CURING FARMERS' STOCK PEANUTS. ASAE ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL MEETING. 2003. 17 p.