Novel spectroscopic approaches with peanut butter

Novel spectroscopic approaches for the characterization of quality and identity-related key features of peanut butter.

PhD student: Hongwei Yu.


Peanut butter is one of the most consumed and important plants based bread spreads which not only provides great flavour for customers but also brings considerable profits for manufacturers. However, the authenticity and quality of peanut butter varies and is affected by many factors. Peanut traits are the principal one since it is the material basis of peanut butter. By means of roasting and grinding, peanut will be processed into peanut butter, which means that the manufacturing conditions also influence the characteristics of peanut butter including the chemical composition, the physical characteristics as well as the sensory properties.

Although part of these factors have been preliminarily studied, there is a lack of innovative methods with regard to being able to quickly select suitable peanut varieties and regulate the processing to guarantee the edibleness and commercial value of peanut butter, as well as for verification of raw materials afterwards.


The main objective of this study is to develop novel technology for fast characterization and identification of the impact of raw materials and processing conditions on peanut butter. Rapid and non-destructive analysis technologies based on spectroscopy like NIR spectroscopy will be applied and correlated with the characteristics of peanuts and peanut butter through chemometrics. In the meantime, the impact of the factors mentioned above on the characteristics of peanut butter will be unveiled. The rapid detection methods and reliable theoretical basis will facilitate to monitor, adjust and guarantee the authenticity and quality of peanut butter in the whole production chain. ​

The project will follow subsequent steps that lead the development of efficient methods of the verification and quality assessments of peanut butter. To obtain this result, it will be necessary to use sophisticated apparatuses (HSI, SEM) and the application of chemometrics analysis (PCA, PLS-DA) for the data processing.

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