Evaluation of peanut paste in selected markets in Northern Ghana

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JULY 2016
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Peanut paste is a delicacy in Ghana, but issues about its production quality in Northern Ghana, has been a challenge in recent times. The study aimed to assess peanut paste quality in Northern Ghana. Peanut paste samples (24) were acquired from six major markets. A control sample, using Nkate-sari variety of peanut was prepared in the Food Science and Technology Laboratory of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. A survey was conducted using structured questionnaires to understand the processing methods used. Proximate, aflatoxin and microbial load of the samples were also determined. From the survey, 75% of the producers used untreated stream water during processing. There was no sorting, grading or blanching during processing. The traders (96%) acquire raw peanuts from the market already de-shelled. Moisture, Crude protein and Carbohydrate content of the samples ranged from 5.05 ± 0.07 to 6.45 ± 0.21, 23.67±0.05 to 31.56 ±0.78 and 19.44 ±1.19 to 27.65 ±0.96 respectively. Statistical analysis showed no significant difference (p>0.05) between ash, carbohydrate and protein content. Aflatoxin analysis of the Tamale central, Bolga central, Wa Gonomuni, Tamale Aboabu and Wa central market samples showed concentrations of 2.89 ppb, 8.6 ppb, 55.39 ppb, 103.44 ppb and 126.55 ppb respectively. Total aerobic count ranged from 2.5×103 cfu/g to 9.9×103 cfu/g. Coliform count were below the acceptable limit of 10 cfu/g. Fungal enumeration was less than 101 cfu/g in all samples except for Navrongo central market samples. Aspergilus parasiticus was isolated in Wa gonomuni, Wa central market and Tamale Aboabu market samples respectively. Blastomyces Dermatitidis was found in Bolga central market samples. Even though some samples had high nutrient composition, contamination levels were significant due to poor production practices.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Food Science and Technology, College of Science in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Science in Food Science and Technology.