Peanut butter

Peanut butter
"Smooth" peanut butter in a jar

Peanut butter is a food paste made primarily from ground dry roasted peanuts, popular in North America, Netherlands, United Kingdom, and parts of Asia, particularly the Philippines and Indonesia. It is mainly used as a sandwich spread, sometimes in combination as in the peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The United States[1] and China are leading exporters of peanut butter. Other nuts are used as the basis for similar nut butters.

Contents

History

Peanuts are native to the tropics of the Americas and were mashed to become a pasty substance by the Aztec Native Americans hundreds of years ago.[2] A number of peanut paste products have been used over the centuries, and the distinction between peanut paste and peanut butter is not always clear cut in ordinary use. Early "models" of peanut butter, like the Aztecs' version, were nothing but pure roasted peanut paste. It may have been harder to work with and spread than regular peanut butter and had more of an unadulterated, yet somewhat more bitter taste.[citation needed] Vegetable oil was also later added to most brands to aid in its spreadability, but with new modern processing machines being invented, the peanut butter was already significantly smoother than it had been.[citation needed]

Evidence of peanut butter as it is known today comes from U.S. Patent 306,727, issued in 1884 to Marcellus Gilmore Edson of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, for the finished product of the process of milling roasted peanuts between heated surfaces until the peanuts entered "a fluid or semi-fluid state." As the peanut product cooled, it set into what Carter explained as being "a consistency like that of butter, lard, or ointment." Edson's patent is based on the preparation of a peanut paste as an intermediate to the production of peanut candies. While Edson's patent does not describe the modern product, we know as peanut butter, it does show the initial steps necessary for the production of peanut butter.[2] [George Washington Carver] is often credited with inventing peanut butter and is nearly synonymous with its history in the United States.

J.H. Kellogg, of breakfast cereal fame, (and his brother, W.K. Kellogg) invented their own early version of peanut butter in 1895 and in 1897, J.H. Kellogg secured U.S. Patent 580,787 for his "Process of Preparing Nutmeal," which produced a "pasty adhesive substance" that Kellogg called "nut-butter."[2]

Dr. Ambrose Straub, a physician in St. Louis, Missouri, pursued a method for providing toothless elderly with protein in the 1890s. His peanut-butter-making machine was patented in 1903.[3]

January 24 is National Peanut Butter Day in the United States.[4]

Variations

In addition to the smooth peanut butter, a crunchy variety is also available. Crunchy peanut butter is made using the same process as smooth (or creamy) peanut butter, but in the final stage of production, a generous amount of coarsely ground, roasted peanut (1mm to 2mm in diameter) is blended into the prepared mix to give the final product a crunchy texture. While making it a bit more difficult to spread, it offers a more natural peanut flavor than traditional creamy peanut butter.

Health

Peanut butter,
smooth style, without salt
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 2,462 kJ (588 kcal)
Carbohydrates 20 g
- Starch 4.8 g
- Sugars 9.2 g
- Dietary fiber 6 g
Fat 50 g
Protein 25 g
Water 1.8 g
Alcohol 0 g
Caffeine 0 mg
Sodium 0 mg (0%)
Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database

Health benefits

Peanut butter has a high level of monounsaturated fats and resveratrol.[5] Peanut butter (and peanuts) provide protein, vitamins B3 and E, magnesium, folate, dietary fiber, arginine,[6] and high levels of the antioxidant p-coumaric acid.

Health concerns

For people with a peanut allergy, peanut butter can cause reactions, including anaphylactic shock, which has led to its being banned in some schools.[7]

The peanut plant is susceptible to the mold Aspergillus flavus which produces a carcinogenic substance called aflatoxin.[8] Since it is impossible to completely remove every instance of aflatoxins, contamination of peanuts and peanut butter is monitored in many countries to ensure safe levels of this carcinogen. In 1990, a study showed that average American peanut butter contained an average of 5.7 parts per billion of aflatoxins, per the U.S. Food and Drug Administration guidelines of 20 parts per billion.[9][10]

Some brands of peanut butter may contain a small amount of added partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, which are high in trans fatty acids, thought to be a cause of atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, and stroke; these oils are added to prevent the peanut oil from separating. Natural peanut butter and peanuts do not contain partially hydrogenated oils. A U.S. Agricultural Research Service (ARS) survey of commercial peanut butters in the U.S. showed the presence of trans fat, but at very low levels.[11]

At least one study has found that peanut oil caused relatively heavy clogging of arteries. Robert Wissler of the University of Chicago reported that diets high in peanut oil, when combined with cholesterol intake, clogged the arteries of Rhesus monkeys more than butterfat.[12]

Peanut butter can harbor Salmonella and cause salmonellosis, as in the Salmonella outbreak in the United States in 2007.[13] In 2009, due to mishandling and apparent criminal negligence at a single Peanut Corporation of America factory in Blakely, Georgia, Salmonella was found in 46 states[14] in peanut-butter-based products such as crackers, peanut-butter cookies, and dog treats. It has claimed at least nine human lives as of 17 March 2009 (2009 -03-17) and made at least 691 people sick in the United States.[15][16]

Peanut butter in food products

Peanut butter has been used in other food products for many years. There has been large development into peanut butter's use in other foodstuffs, some of which include cake, jam, jelly, confectionery, ice cream, brownies, pretzels, peanut brittle, cookies, porridge and sandwiches amongst others.

Some peanut butter marketed as "natural" contains only peanuts and salt (to prevent spoilage), but most consumer-brand peanut butter today, even if labeled "natural", contains other ingredients, including hydrogenated vegetable oil to stabilize it and prevent oil separation, and dextrose or other sweeteners to enhance flavor. Sometimes palm oil is used instead of hydrogenated oils to prevent oil separation. Peanut butter is also sold mixed with other pastes, such as chocolate, jelly (jam) and the like.

Other uses

Plumpy'nut is a peanut butter-based food used to fight malnutrition in famine stricken countries. A single pack contains 500 calories, can be stored unrefrigerated for 2 years, and requires no cooking or preparation.[17]

A common, simple outdoor bird feeder can be made by coating a pine cone once with peanut butter, then again with birdseed.[18]

Peanut butter is an effective bait for mouse traps.[19]

The oils found in peanut butter are known to allow chewing gum to be removed from hair.[20]

Other names

A slang term for peanut butter in World War II was "monkey butter".[21]

In Dutch peanut butter is called pindakaas (peanut cheese), because the name butter was protected in the Netherlands when peanut butter came on the market in 1948. The word kaas, cheese, was already being used in another product (leverkaas) that has no cheese in it. This product is similar to another cold cut product, leverpastei.[citation needed]

In the 1960s, collectible glasses related to characters from the Oz Books were sold as promotions with "Oz, the Wonderful Peanut Spread." The product was forced to rename itself a peanut butter when the USDA informed the company that, under food laws, a "peanut spread" has a lower peanut percentage than a "peanut butter."

See also

  • Peanut butter, banana and bacon sandwich

Notes

  1. ^ U.S. Exports of (NAICS 311911) Roasted Nuts & Peanut Butter With All Countries US Census Bureau, April 2005
  2. ^ a b c Black Invention Myths
  3. ^ http://www.innovatestl.org/stlouishistory.html
  4. ^ http://www.statesymbolsusa.org/National_Symbols/American_Hollidays.html
  5. ^ Sci Tech The Hindu, December 14, 2006
  6. ^ WH Foods
  7. ^ James Barron (September 27, 1998). "Dear Mr. Carver. This Is a Cease and Desist Order.". New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?sec=health&res=9D0CEEDB1539F934A1575AC0A96E958260. 
  8. ^ "Aflatoxins in Your Food - and their Effect on Your Health". Environment, Health and Safety Online. http://www.ehso.com/ehshome/aflatoxin.php. 
  9. ^ "FDA Chemical Contaminants and Pesiticides". http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/GuidanceDocuments/ChemicalContaminantsandPesticides/ucm077969.htm#afla. 
  10. ^ "Consumer Reports: Peanut Problems in a Nutshell". http://blogs.consumerreports.org/health/2009/02/peanut-problems-in-a-nutshell.html. 
  11. ^ Peanut butter is trans fat free.
  12. ^ Atherosclerosis 20: 303, 1974
  13. ^ Dennis G. Maki, M.D. (2009-02-11). "Coming to Grips with Foodborne Infection — Peanut Butter, Peppers, and Nationwide Salmonella Outbreaks". The New England journal of medicine (New England Journal of Medicine) 360 (10): 949–53. doi:10.1056/NEJMp0806575. PMID 19213675. http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/NEJMp0806575. Retrieved 2009-02-12. 
  14. ^ RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR (2009-01-17). "People urged to avoid peanut butter products". AP via Yahoo News. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jeLgwCG-FEEYH8KZ7Tt45zOdSIKgD95P6TRO3. Retrieved 2009-02-12. 
  15. ^ Investigation Update: Outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium Infections, 2008–2009, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  16. ^ "US peanut boss refuses testimony". BBC News. 2009-02-11. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7884807.stm. Retrieved 2009-02-12. 
  17. ^ Michael Wines (2005-08-08). "Hope for Hungry Children, Arriving in a Foil Packet". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/08/international/africa/08niger.html?_r=1&hp&ex=1123560000&en=a110a1fd93832714&ei=5094&partner=homepage&oref=slogin. 
  18. ^ "Pine Cone Bird Feeder". Wisconsin State Environmental Education for Kids!. http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/caer/ce/eek/cool/birdfeed.htm. 
  19. ^ "Victor brand rodent control solutions web site". http://www.victorpest.com/advice/rodents-101/myths. 
  20. ^ "Home Remedies For Gum Removal, via LiveStrong.com". http://www.livestrong.com/article/239935-home-remedies-for-gum-removal. 
  21. ^ Jacobs, Jay (1995). The Eaten Word: The Language of Food, the Food in Our Language. Carol Publishing Corporation. ISBN 1-55972-285-1. 

References

  • Erlbach, Arlene (1993). Peanut Butter. Lerner Publications. 
  • Patrick, Jr., Coyle, L. (1982). The World Encyclopedia of Food. Facts on File. 
  • Lapedes, Daniel (1977). McGraw Hill Encyclopedia of Food, 4th ed. Agriculture and Nutrition. McGraw-Hill. 
  • Woodroof, Jasper Guy (1983). Peanuts: Production, Processing, Products. Avi Publishing Company. 
  • Zisman, Honey (1985). The Great American Peanut Butter Book: A Book of Recipes, Facts, Figures, and Fun. St. Martin's Press. 

External links


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