Team Member

Dr. Kavitha Rakasi has a Masters in Foods and Nutrition from Acharya N.G. Ranga Agricultural University (ANGRAU), Hyderabad, India and a Ph.D. in Food Science from Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysore, India. She worked as a visiting scientist for three years (1993-96) at the Food Science Department, Wageningen Agricultural University, Wageningen, The Netherlands. She then moved to Purdue University, Indiana, U.S. to do post-doctoral research for four years (1996-2000) at the Whistler Centre for Carbohydrate Research. Moving back to India in 2000, she worked for seven years as an ASA-IM consultant, conducting workshops for doctors, dieticians, nutrition students, etc. to increase the awareness of the nutritional and health benefits of soybeans and soy products (during this period, Dr. Rakasi conducted more than 500 workshops). Her association with soy started as early as her Masters days during which she submitted her dissertation on the hypo-cholesterolemic effect of soy-incorporated Indian foods in rats. She has also authored The Indian Soy Cookbook which contains 75 recipes, and prepared a booklet on “Frequently Asked Questions on Soy Consumption” as well as many other soy promotional materials. She has authored several scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals and numerous promotional articles in trade magazines. Dr. Rakasi is currently working on science-based nutrition communications, development of nutritional food supplements, and supporting the Indian food industry with product development and marketing of nutritional and health-based food products. She continues to conduct nutrition workshops, and has presented technical papers to various groups on a regular basis, including events in India, U.S. and Argentina. Dr. Rakasi is a nutrition expert with a particular flair for explaining complicated scientific material to lay people, a skill developed over many years of nutrition extension work.

Dr. Rakasi will be a key Team member in compiling and analyzing data, reaching conclusions based thereon, and identifying opportunities for the use of added value peanut products in the Indian food products.

Once this proposal is accepted, a local agriculture trade/industry expert will be selected, in order to further strengthen the Team’s expertise in this sector. A review of candidates is tentatively underway.

  • Trade associations like Solvent Extractor Association, Protein Foods, All India Food Processors Association, India Grain/Oilseed Traders);
  • Major trading houses (like Cargill, ADM,..)
  • Wholesale grain mandis and traders
  • Food processors
  • Hospitality sector
  • Doctors and nutritionists
  • USDA

A roundtable will be organized with the key stakeholder during the midway of the project to validate the findings.

A comprehensive report will be submitted, laying out the current status, scope and opportunities for US Peanuts and higher value peanut products, along with specific recommendations, market sector size, associated trends, projected growth, potential trade partners, best product prospects, barriers to entry, port facility capabilities, phytosanitary requirements, opportunities and potential threats, including any tariff and non-tariff barriers and relevant contact information. The report will also cover insights on regulations maximum residue levels (MRLs) for pesticides (if applicable), aflatoxin tolerances and testing requirements, and other regulations that might affect imports.

The below timeline gives a further indication of key proposed activities and the submission of draft and final reports.


Budget includes all travel related expenses, consulting charges, office administrative expenses, and overhead covering other expenses such as accounting services for this project and the cost involved in currency exchange charges, etc. See the table below for budget calculations.

Total Funding Requested: $89,533

Professional Services: $55,800.