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Development and Transfer of Peanut Processing Technologies in Bulgaria

Approach

The goal of UGA11U was to identify potential new market opportunities for peanut-based products in Bulgaria through economic, socioeconomic and consumption pattern surveys and to develop, optimize and transfer peanut product development, handling and processing technologies to private small- and medium-scale processors.

Achievements

A national food consumption survey in Bulgaria (2500 questionnaires, 85% returned) revealed that a demand for peanut products existed in the marketplace. Consumers are aware that peanuts and peanut products are good sources of protein and calories, and they are very fond of peanut flavors and sensorial qualities. The opening of free markets and anticipation of higher incomes with the new economy brought a new and excited interest in peanuts and peanut products in the diet of Bulgarians indicating strong market potential.

A peanut processing pilot plant was equipped at the Canning Research Institute in Plodiv (sheller, blancher, roaster, fryer, grinder, peanut butter processor, and packaging equipment), along with a sensory and taste panel facility. The host country collaborators are learning processing and sensory techniques in preparation for development of consumer acceptable products identified in the surveys, and to extend them to the private sector. A Peanut CRSP exhibit was sponsored at the International Food Fair in Plodiv, Bulgaria, May 3-8, 1999: 50 U.S. products were tasted by over 600 consumers, with a high ranking for roasted peanuts and crunchy peanut butter.

Private company personnel are visiting the Canning Research Institute to learn about peanut processing, and companies with diverse lines of confectionary products are interested in adding peanut products to their commercial lines. Businessmen are interested in processing peanut products as independent ventures, and especially through joint partnerships with U.S. companies. A delegation of four Bulgarian food processors traveled to Georgia in 1999 to learn more about peanut processing technologies and to develop linkages with organizations and agencies representing the U.S. peanut industry.

More specifically the consumer survey showed that 1) consumer attitude toward peanuts was most driven by perceived product attributes including sensory, economic, health and nutritional aspects of peanuts, 2) socio-demographic profiles did not cause differences in attitude toward roasted peanuts, 3) and the actual consumption of peanuts was shaped by sensory and economic attributes of peanuts and socio-demographic characteristics including income, education, age and gender. Attitudes did not differ across household incomes, but income was clearly a major barrier to consuming peanuts. The presence of the roasted peanut taste will play a major role in the acceptance of new peanut products.

Focus

Post-havest and marketing technologies


Lead scientist

Dr. Larry Beuchat
University of Georgia


Cooperators

Dr. W. Florowski, University of Georgia
Dr. Anna Resurreccion, University of Georgia
Dr. Manjeet Chinnan, University of Georgia

Bulgaria Collaborator

P. Paraskova, Canning Research Institute, Plodiv

Bulgaria Cooperators

J. Jordanov, Canning Research Institute, Plodiv
M. Hidutov, Canning Research Institute, Plodiv
E. Gentchev, Canning Research Institute, Plodiv
V. Boneva, Canning Research Institute, Plodiv
N. Penov, Canning Research Institute, Plodiv
Nikolov, Canning Research Institute, Plodiv
V. Valislevska, Canning Research Institute, Plodiv
K. Murgov, Higher Agricultural Institute, Plodiv