N.C. A&T Team Determines Method to Improve Shelf-Life of Peanuts

By Jamie Crockett / 07/13/2020 College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (July 13, 2020) – A study led by Jianmei Yu, Ph.D., a research associate professor in the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, evaluated whether the protease treatment of peanuts will have an impact on the oxidative stability during storage. Yu’s previous study showed this treatment was more effective than others in reducing the allergen content of peanuts.

“Our focus for this paper was the impact of enzymatic treatment on the shelf-life of oxidation of peanuts,” said Yu. “Peanuts contain a lot of fat, mostly unsaturated fat, which is very easily oxidized and can reduce the nutritional value, causing rancid flavor unacceptable for consumption.”

Raw peanuts are usually stable and oxidation will not occur if stored correctly in the refrigerator. The lower the temperature, the slower the oxidation rate.

Peanuts are roasted to enhance flavor and reduce or eliminate spoilage microorganisms found in raw peanuts. After roasting, however, the peanuts are stored at room temperature and the oxidation rate accelerates. This acceleration reduces the shelf-life of the peanuts.

The research team found the enzymatic treatment, Alcalase, did not accelerate the oxidation process in the peanuts. In other words, this treatment did not affect the shelf-life, but instead increased the antioxidant activity of peanuts, which would contribute to the storage stability.

Overall, this treatment is beneficial for manufacturers and consumers interested in storing peanuts for longer periods of time at room temperature and ensuring that those with peanut allergies will not be seriously affected if accidentally exposed to the snack.

To read more about Yu’s findings, visit the Foods journal website.

Media Contact Information: jicrockett@ncat.edu

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