Submitted to: Applied Engineering in Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 30, 1998
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Plastic boxes may be an improved alternative to fiberboard boxes currently used to store and transport shelled peanuts. In cold storage tests, peanuts stored in an unvented plastic box cooled approximately 18% faster than peanuts stored in a fiberboard box. Peanuts stored in a vented box cooled approximately 35% faster. After cooling, peanuts were placed in ambient conditions to warm up prior to shipping. Peanuts tempered in the vented plastic box 2.6 times faster than the fiberboard box. The reduced tempering times reduce the risk for condensation. Plastic boxes may be sterlized easily and reused. Higher initial cost of the plastic boxes may be offset by more storage/transportation cycles and reduced risk of condensation.
Technical Abstract: The response of shelled peanuts placed in fiberboard and plastic boxes were compared during cool down in cold storage and tempering in ambient conditions. Peanuts were placed in a cold storage (2.5C and 72%) for 400 h, then placed in a closed receiving area for 325 h where the temperature and relative humidity varied daily with the outside ambient conditions (average 20C and 72%). The times, tlag and t50, for the middle temperature in cold storage was about 87 % and 65 % for the unvented and vented plastic boxes compared to the fiberboard box. In tempering, the fiberboard box tlag was 55 h compared to 34 and 19 h for the unvented and vented plastic boxes, respectively. The t50 was 169, 106, and 59 for the fiberboard, unvented and vented plastic boxes, respectively. The unvented and vented plastic boxes responded 1.6 and 2.6 times faster than the fiberboard box, respectively. In test 2, tempering conditions were higher and the potential for condensation extended up to 60 h for the fiberboard box and 17 h for the vented plastic box. A controlled tempering area is needed to reduce condensation and potential for mold development. A vented plastic box can be an improved alternative for handling shelled peanuts and easily sterilized for control of insects and food contaminants.