Date of Award

Fall 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Agricultural Economics

First Advisor

Kevin T. McNamara

Committee Member 1

Haley F. Oliver

Committee Member 2

Joseph V. Balagtas


Raisins are an important export commodity for Afghanistan, however, Afghan packers are challenged to export to markets seeking high quality products due to limited knowledge regarding their quality and safety. To evaluate this, Afghan raisin samples from pre-, semi-, and post-processed raisins were obtained from a raisin packer in Kabul, Afghanistan. The raisins were analyzed and compared to U.S. standards for processed raisins. The samples tested did not meet U.S. import standards for embedded sand, but the process used to clean the raisins is suitable to maintain food safety standards.

Previous Afghan raisin shipments have been rejected from the U.S. due to too high levels of internal and external sugar crystals, and pesticide residues. Based on the likelihood of export shipment rejection, the thesis examines the quality improvement options available to packers in the short and long-term. To produce raisins compliant with U.S and international Codex standards, packers will need a long-term ( > 10 year) commitment to improve their own knowledge and establish raw material traceability/ quality improvements from growers.