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How to add value to groundnuts

By Alex Wachira
Value addition makes farmers earn up to double the cash from groundnuts.

 

Groundnuts also known as peanuts are edible seeds that are tasty and loved for their health benefits.

They are locally popularly referred to as “njugu karanga” which are roasted groundnuts enjoyed as a snack.

Peanuts are rich in protein, potassium, magnesium, and Iron.

The health benefits of peanuts include protection from diseases, aid in weight loss, prevents gallstones, boosts men’s stamina, improves memory, good heart health, and can help reduce the risk of getting cancer.

They can be eaten whole - with husks on or the top cover removed depending on the consumer’s preference.

They take three to four months to mature.

Value addition

Apart from just eating them raw or cooked, groundnuts can be used to produce oil, paste, flour or sauce used in cakes and cookies obtained by grinding nuts, and peanut butter.

Value addition ensures processed products fetch good prices in the market and the shelf life is increased.

Peanut butter

Twaweza Women Group consisting of women with disability based in Bombolulu, Mombasa shared with KTN Farmers Tv how they go about in adding value to groundnuts by making peanut butter.

The process of making peanut butter starts with the buying and collection of unshelled peanut from farmers. It is important to get the groundnuts whole and unshelled to avoid seed contamination.

The dry unshelled peanuts are then sorted to remove those that are spoiled.

The peanuts are then shelled using a peanut sheller machine which is followed by more sorting out to remove rotten seeds.

The seeds are then roasted in a roasting machine then cooled to remove the seed coat. Some of the seed coat is however left intact as it is highly nutritious.

Big peanuts roast faster than smaller peanuts and give better quality peanut butter.

More sorting out is done to ensure a high-quality final product.

The peanut seeds are ground in a stainless machine and moderately cooled for 15 to 20 minutes, before packaging in well-labeled packets and containers in readiness for the market.

“The final product must include the manufacture date and the expiry date as one of the major requirements,” says Twaweza Women Group.

Through this process, the shelf life of the groundnuts is then increased by up to twelve months or more with no preservatives added.

The peanut oil acts as its preservative which separates and settles at the top a day after packaging.

Peanut butter can be eaten as it is - in its pasty form, spread on bread, apples, biscuits and other foods for a good snack, put into smoothies to add flavour or used for cooking foods such as vegetables and soups.  

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