Consumers throughout the world are concerned about consistently obtaining flavorful, wholesome peanuts that are uniform in size and free from foreign material and contamination. The U.S. peanut industry continues to invest heavily in plant modernization and the latest designs in automated cleaning, shelling, testing, and sorting equipment to ensure that all buyers receive the best possible product. U.S. government inspectors monitor processing at each stage of the peanut's journey from the farm to the manufacturer and to the grocery shelf in the case of domestic production.
The Peanut Standards Board
The Peanut Standards Board is comprised of nine growers and nine industry members representing each of the three production areas. Under the provision of the Minimum Quality and Handling Standards Agreement, peanuts are subject to strict quality standards that are enforced by USDA and Federal-State inspectors. These inspectors supervise, inspect and grade peanuts from delivery at buying points to shipment from shelling plants.
Strictly enforced government regulations ensure that U.S. peanuts are of consistently high quality. In addition, comprehensive lot identification systems enable peanuts to be tracked throughout their various stages of processing until final delivery to a domestic processor or export customer. The U.S. peanut industry is committed to providing the highest quality peanuts in the world. Toward this end, they engage in testing procedures throughout the shelling process. These tests enable them to meet the stringent specifications of their customers as well as the U.S. Government standards.
Research Improves Yield and Quality
Due to the emphasis on production of edible peanuts, both the government and the industry allocate a considerable amount of time and money to peanut research to produce a high-quality food item. The focus of the research includes seed breeding for higher yields, higher quality, lower levels or no aflatoxin, better flavor and shelf life, more disease resistance, and mitigation of allergenic reaction.
The peanut industry in 1988 formed The Peanut Foundation. The Foundation has been instrumental in reducing peanut production costs, improving peanut quality and increasing the product safety of peanuts. Additionally, it is involved in helping to coordinate peanut research currently conducted by government and university researchers. Additional research funding from USDA, State Grower Organizations, and the National Peanut Board gives the U.S. a strong base in peanut research.