peanut oil-peanut butter
Production and trade of peanuts
In 2017, world production of peanuts (reported as groundnuts in shells) was 47 million tonnes, led by China with 36% of the global total, followed by India (20%). Other significant producers were the United States, Nigeria, Myanmar, and Sudan. Major exporters in 2017 were India with 601,849 tonnes, which accounts for 32% of world total exports (1.9 million tonnes), and the United States with 16% of total exports.
Roasted peanuts as snack food
Dry-roasting peanuts is a common form of preparation. Dry peanuts can be roasted in the shell or shelled in a home oven if spread out one layer deep in a pan and baked at a temperature of 350 °F or 177 °C for 15 to 20 min (shelled) and 20 to 25 min (in shell).
Boiled peanuts are a popular snack in India, China, West Africa, and the southern United States. In the US South, boiled peanuts are often prepared in briny water, and sold in street side stands.
A distinction can be drawn between raw and green peanuts. A green peanut is a term to describe farm fresh harvested peanuts that have not been dehydrated. They are available from grocery stores, food distributors and farmers markets, during the growing season. “Raw” peanuts are also uncooked but have been dried/dehydrated and must be rehydrated before boiling (usually in a bowl full of water overnight). Once rehydrated, the raw peanuts are ready to be boiled.
Peanut oil is often used in cooking, because it has a mild flavor and a relatively high smoke point. Due to its high monounsaturated content, it is considered more healthful than saturated oils, and is resistant to rancidity. The several types of peanut oil include aromatic roasted peanut oil, refined peanut oil, extra virgin or cold-pressed peanut oil, and peanut extract. In the United States, refined peanut oil is exempt from allergen labeling laws.
Peanut butter is a food paste or spread made from ground dry roasted peanuts. It often contains additional ingredients that modify the taste or texture, such as salt, sweeteners or emulsifiers. Peanut butter is served as a spread on bread, toast or crackers, and used to make sandwiches (notably the peanut butter and jelly sandwich). It is also used in a number of confections, such as peanut-flavored granola bars or croissants and other pastries. The United States is a leading exporter of peanut butter, and itself consumes $800 million of peanut butter annually.
Peanut flour is used in gluten-free cooking.
Peanuts are particularly common in Peruvian and Mexican cuisine, both of which marry indigenous and European ingredients. For instance, in Peru, a popular traditional dish is picante de cuy, a roasted guinea pig served in a sauce of ground peanuts (ingredients native to South America) with roasted onions and garlic (ingredients from European cuisine). Also, in the Peruvian city of Arequipa, a dish called ocopa consists of a smooth sauce of roasted peanuts and hot peppers (both native to the region) with roasted onions, garlic, and oil, poured over meat or potatoes.Another example is a fricassee combining a similar mixture with sautéed seafood or boiled and shredded chicken. These dishes are generally known as ajíes, meaning “hot peppers”, such as ají de pollo and ají de mariscos (seafood ajíes may omit peanuts). In Mexico its is also used to prepare different traditional dishes, such as chicken in peanut sauce (encacahuatado) and is used as a main ingredient for the preparation of other famous dishes such as red pipián, mole poblano and oaxacan mole negro.
Likewise, during colonial times in Peru, the Spanish used peanuts to replace nuts unavailable locally, but used extensively in Spanish cuisine, such as almonds and pine nuts, typically ground or as paste mixed with rice, meats, and vegetables for dishes like rice pilaf.
Throughout the region, many candies and snacks are made using peanuts. In Mexico, it is common to find them in different presentations as a snack or candy: salty, “Japanese” peanuts, praline, enchilados or in the form of a traditional sweet made with peanuts and honey called palanqueta, and even as peanut marzipan.
See also: Israeli sweets and snack foods
Crunchy coated peanuts, called kabukim in Hebrew, are a popular snack in Israel. Kabukim are commonly sold by weight at corner stores where fresh nuts and seeds are sold, though they are also available packaged. The coating typically consists of flour, salt, starch, lecithin, and sometimes sesame seeds. The origin of the name is obscure (it may be derived from kabuk which means nutshell or husk in Turkish). An additional variety of crunchy coated peanuts popular in Israel is “American peanuts”. The coating of this variety is thinner, but harder to crack.
Bamba puffs are a popular snack in Israel. Their shape is similar to Cheez Doodles, but they are made of peanuts and corn.
Peanuts are also widely used in Southeast Asian cuisine, such as in Malaysia, Vietnam, and Indonesia, where they are typically made into a spicy sauce. Peanuts originally came to Indonesia from the Philippines, where the legume derived from Mexico in times of Spanish colonization. One Philippine dish using peanuts is kare-kare, a mixture of meat and peanut butter. Apart from being used in dishes, fried shelled peanuts are a common inexpensive snack in the Philippines with the peanuts commonly served plain salted with garlic chips and variants including adobo and chilli flavors.
Common Indonesian peanut-based dishes include gado-gado, pecel, karedok, and ketoprak, vegetable salads mixed with peanut sauce, and the peanut-based sauce, satay.
In the Indian subcontinent, peanuts are a light snack, usually roasted and salted (sometimes with the addition of chilli powder), and often sold roasted in pods or boiled with salt. They are also made into dessert or sweet snack pieces by processing with refined sugar and jaggery. Indian cuisine uses roasted, crushed peanuts to give a crunchy body to salads; they are added whole (without pods) to leafy vegetable stews for the same reason. Another use is peanut oil for cooking. Most Indians use mustard, sunflower, and peanut oil for cooking. In South India, groundnut chutney is eaten with dosa and idli as breakfast. Peanuts are also used in sweets and savory items in South India and also as a flavor in tamarind rice. Kovilpatti is known for its sweet peanut chikki, which is also used in savory and sweet mixtures, such as Bombay mix.
Peanuts grow well in southern Mali and adjacent regions of the Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Nigeria, and Senegal; peanuts are similar in both agricultural and culinary qualities to the Bambara groundnut native to the region, and West Africans have adopted the crop as a staple. Peanut sauce, prepared with onions, garlic, peanut butter/paste, and vegetables such as carrots, cabbage, and cauliflower, can be vegetarian (the peanuts supplying ample protein) or prepared with meat, usually chicken.
Peanuts are used in the Malian meat stew maafe. In Ghana, peanut butter is used for peanut butter soup nkate nkwan. Crushed peanuts may also be used for peanut candies nkate cake and kuli-kuli, as well as other local foods such as oto.Peanut butter is an ingredient in Nigeria’s “African salad”. Peanut powder is an important ingredient in the spicy coating for kebabs in Nigeria and Ghana.
Peanuts are a common ingredient of several types of relishes (dishes which accompany nshima) eaten in Malawi and in the eastern part of Zambia, and these dishes are common throughout both countries. Thick peanut butter sauces are also made in Uganda to serve with rice and other starchy foods. Groundnut stew, called ebinyebwa in Luganda-speaking areas of Uganda, is made by boiling ground peanut flour with other ingredients, such as cabbage, mushrooms, dried fish, meat or other vegetables.Across East Africa, roasted peanuts, often in cones of newspaper, are obtained from street vendors.
In Canada and the United States, peanuts are used in candies, cakes, cookies, and other sweets. Individually, they are eaten dry-roasted with or without salt. Ninety-five percent of Canadians eat peanuts or peanut butter, with average consumption of 3 kilograms (6.6 lb) of peanuts per person annually, and 79% of Canadians consuming peanut butter weekly. In the United States, peanuts and peanut butter are central to American dietary practices, and are typically considered as comfort foods. Peanut butter is a common peanut-based food, representing half of American total peanut consumption and $850 million in annual retail sales. Peanut soup is found on restaurant menus in the southeastern states. In some southern portions of the US, peanuts are boiled for several hours until soft and moist.Peanuts are also deep-fried, sometimes within the shell. Per person, Americans eat 6 pounds (2.7 kg) of peanut products annually, spending a total of $2 billion in peanut retail purchases.
Peanuts are used to help fight malnutrition. Plumpy Nut, MANA Nutrition, and Medika Mamba are high-protein, high-energy, and high-nutrient peanut-based pastes developed to be used as therapeutic food to aid in famine relief. The World Health Organization, UNICEF, Project Peanut Butter, and Doctors Without Borders have used these products to help save malnourished children in developing countries.
Peanuts can be used like other legumes and grains to make a lactose-free, milk-like beverage, peanut milk, which is promoted in Africa as a way to reduce malnutrition among children.
Peanut plant tops and crop residues can be used for hay.
The protein cake (oilcake meal) residue from oil processing is used as an animal feed and as a soil fertilizer. Groundnut cake is a livestock feed, mostly used by cattle as protein supplements. It is one of the most important and valuable feed for all types of livestocks and one of the most active ingredient for poultry rations. Poor storage of the cake may sometimes result in its contamination by aflatoxin, a naturally occurring mycotoxin that is produced by Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus. The major constituents of the cake are essential amino acids such as lysine and glutamine. Other components are crude fiber, crude protein, and fat.
Some peanuts can also be fed whole to livestock, for example those in excess of the peanut quota in the US, or those with a higher aflatoxin content than that permitted by the food regulations.
Peanut processing often requires dehulling: the hulls generated in large amounts by the peanut industries can then be used to feed livestock, particularly ruminants.
Peanuts have a variety of industrial end uses. Paint, varnish, lubricating oil, leather dressings, furniture polish, insecticides, and nitroglycerin are made from peanut oil. Soap is made from saponified oil, and many cosmetics contain peanut oil and its derivatives. The protein portion is used in the manufacture of some textile fibers. Peanut shells are used in the manufacture of plastic, wallboard, abrasives, fuel, cellulose (used in rayon and paper), and mucilage (glue).
Some people (0.6% of the United States population) report that they experience allergic reactions to peanut exposure; symptoms are specifically severe for this nut, and can range from watery eyes to anaphylactic shock, which is generally fatal if untreated. Eating a small amount of peanut can cause a reaction. Because of their widespread use in prepared and packaged foods, the avoidance of peanuts can be difficult. The reading of ingredients and warnings on product packaging is necessary to avoid this allergen. Foods that are processed in facilities which also handle peanuts on the same equipment as other foods are required to carry such warnings on their labels. Avoiding cross contamination with peanuts and peanut products, (along with other severe allergens like shellfish) is a promoted and common practice which chefs and restaurants worldwide are becoming aware of.
The hygiene hypothesis of allergy states that a lack of early childhood exposure to infectious agents like germs and parasites could be causing the increase of food allergies.
Studies comparing age of peanut introduction in Great Britain with introduction in Israel showed that delaying exposure to peanuts in childhood can dramatically increase the risk of developing peanut allergies.
Peanut allergy has been associated with the use of skin preparations containing peanut oil among children, but the evidence is not regarded as conclusive.Peanut allergies have also been associated with family history and intake of soy products.
Some school districts in the United States and elsewhere have banned peanuts.However, the efficacy of the bans in reducing allergic reactions is uncertain. A recent study in Canada has shown that there is no difference in the percentage of accidental exposures occurring in schools prohibiting peanuts than in schools allowing them.
Refined peanut oil will not cause allergic reactions in most people with peanut allergies.However, crude (unrefined) peanut oils have been shown to contain protein, which may cause allergic reactions. In a randomized, double-blind crossover study, 60 people with proven peanut allergy were challenged with both crude peanut oil and refined peanut oil. The authors concluded, “Crude peanut oil caused allergic reactions in 10% of allergic subjects studied and should continue to be avoided.” They also stated, “Refined peanut oil does not seem to pose a risk to most people with peanut allergy.” However, they point out that refined peanut oil can still pose a risk to peanut-allergic individuals if oil that has previously been used to cook foods containing peanuts is reused.
Contamination with aflatoxin
If peanut plants are subjected to severe drought during pod formation, or if pods are not properly stored, they may become contaminated with the mold Aspergillus flavus which may produce carcinogenic substances called aflatoxins. Lower-quality peanuts, particularly where mold is evident, are more likely to be contaminated. The United States Department of Agriculture tests every truckload of raw peanuts for aflatoxin; any containing aflatoxin levels of more than 15 parts per billion are destroyed. The peanut industry has manufacturing steps in place to ensure all peanuts are inspected for aflatoxin. Peanuts tested to have high aflatoxin are used to make peanut oil where the mold can be removed.