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USDA Issues Revised Peanut Segregation Standards

November 1, 2017

2 Min Read
USDA Issues Revised Peanut Segregation Standards
The USDA changed a standard for quality and handling of peanuts. Image courtesy of Flickr user airpix

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a change to its minimum quality and handling standards for domestic and imported peanuts marketed in the United States increasing the allowed percentage of damaged kernels during segregation of farmers stock peanuts, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced via an Oct. 25 press release.

Impacting rules set out in the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act (“Farm Bill”) of 2002, the USDA’s Peanut Standards Board, a group composed of industry representatives, determined that recent advancements in processing equipment and techniques rendered the original rules too restrictive.

“The Board recommended changing the allowance for damaged kernels under Segregation 1 from not more than 2.49% to not more than 3.49%. The requirements for Segregation 2 are also adjusted to reflect this change,” the agency’s Federal Register entry for the change said. “The Board believes these changes will align the incoming standards with recent revisions to the outgoing quality standards and increase returns to producers.”

Segregation 1 peanuts are farmers stock peanuts that contain no more than 2.49% damaged kernels and no more than 1% concealed damage from rancidity, mold or decay, and show no visible signs of Aspergillus flavus. Segregation 2 peanuts have more than 2.49% damaged kernels and more than 1% concealed damage.

“Before 2002, Segregation 2 peanuts had to be sent to a crusher and could not be reworked to meet the ongoing quality standards. In recent years, the improvements in technology have allowed the industry to utilize Segregation 2 peanuts and still meet outgoing quality standards,” the Federal Register entry said.

The end result is a shift of some peanuts from the Segregation 2 category to the Segregation 1 category when the change becomes effective on Feb. 1, 2018.

To view the full Federal Register entry, click here.

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