Groundnut butter, which is produced from ground nut is a highly lucrative business globally, due to its nutritive values.
Groundnut butter is cultivated largely in the Northern parts of Nigeria in commercial quantity. Let us not forget the famous groundnut pyramid, which generated much foreign exchange in the early 60s and during the colonial era.
Groundnut butter is rich in fat, protein, vitamin B, phosphorus, and iron, has significant food value. In its final form, peanut butter consists of about 90 to 95 percent carefully selected, blanched, dry-roasted peanuts, ground to a size to pass through a 200-mesh screen.
To improve smoothness, spread-ability and flavor, other ingredients are added; such as salt, hydrogenated vegetable oil (0.125 percent), and corn syrup or honey (2 to 4 percent).
To enhance peanut butter’s nutritive value, ascorbic acid and yeast are also added. The amounts of other ingredients can vary as long as they do not add up to more than 10 percent of the peanut butter. Peanut butter contains 50 to 52 percent fat, 28 to 29 percent protein, 2 to 5 percent carbohydrate, and 1 to 2 percent moisture.
Research has shown that peanut butter was recommended for infants and invalids because of its high nutritional value. “Sanitariums, particularly one in Battle Creek, Michigan, used it for their patients because of its high protein content.”
Most recently, peanut butter has been used primarily as a sandwich spread, although it also appears in prepared dishes and confections.
Originally, the process of peanut butter manufacturing was entirely manual. Until about 1920, where peanut farmer shelled the seed by hand, which eventually was blended manually with grinding stones.
Due to the increasing awareness of the ills of sugar, the groundnut butter prepared with salt as additive is gaining more popularity, and more globally accepted.
In Nigeria, especially in Igbo land, it is known as kola nut source, as it is prepared with a little pepper additive.
The equipment to make groundnut paste is largely available locally, though could be imported, but the locally fabricated ones are more rugged and suitable for the environment. The machinery is manual, semi-automatic or automatic.
The production capacity depends on the output of the equipment or production line that the manufacturer wishes to install.
- Processing tank
- Colloid miller/Blending machine
- Motorized mixer
- Weighing balance
- Packaging machine
The major raw material is groundnut, and salt
Steps in processing
Cleaning: The groundnuts received from the suppliers are cleaned or washed with water to separate them from sand and other impurities/dirt.
Shelling: This is the removing of the shell (or hull) of groundnut with the least damage to the seed or kemels in a situation where you receive supplies directly from the farmers.
Sorting: At this stage, ground are selected, and graded in various sizes.
Weighing balance: This is to determine the quantity in grams.
Roasting: They are dry roasted in large oven.
Cooling: The roasted nuts are transferred to cooling machines, where suction fans draw cooling air over the peanuts, spread on a dry airy platform for cooling to take place.
Milling/Grinding: At this stage, the roasted ground nuts are loaded on the milling machine, where salt and the needed ingredients/other additives are added.
Packaging: Produced groundnut butter is at this stage is neatly packaged under the global best practices and hygienic situation and packaging regulations.
It must be labeled with a trade mark of quality that can attract consumers.
Total monetary requirement for such investment varies with respect to the capacity of production lines.
An entrepreneur can start with as low as N850, 000 to as much as N62million and above depending on the availability of funds at his disposal.
The market is large and the present day market condition is that the demand for groundnut butter is far below the supply, hence the massive influx of peanut butter in our local market.
Note that the locally made groundnut butter is healthier that the imported ones.
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