Peanut butter

Peanut butter

Overview
Peanut butter is a food paste made primarily from ground dry roasted
Dry roasting
Dry Roasting is a process by which heat is applied to dry foodstuffs without the use of oil or water as a carrier. Unlike other dry heat methods, dry roasting is used with foods such as nuts and seeds, which do not contain significant fat or moisture of their own...

 peanut
Peanut
The peanut, or groundnut , is a species in the legume or "bean" family , so it is not a nut. The peanut was probably first cultivated in the valleys of Peru. It is an annual herbaceous plant growing tall...

s, popular in North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

, Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, and parts of Asia, particularly the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 and Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

. It is mainly used as a sandwich
Sandwich
A sandwich is a food item, typically consisting of two or more slices of :bread with one or more fillings between them, or one slice of bread with a topping or toppings, commonly called an open sandwich. Sandwiches are a widely popular type of lunch food, typically taken to work or school, or...

 spread
Spread (food)
A spread is a food that is spread with a knife onto bread, crackers, or other bread products. Spreads are added to bread products to provide flavor and texture, and are an integral part of the dish, i.e. they should be distinguished from condiments, which are optional additions...

, sometimes in combination as in the peanut butter and jelly sandwich
Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
The peanut butter and jelly sandwich or PB&J is a sandwich, popular in North America, that includes a layer of peanut butter and either jam or jelly on bread, commonly between two slices, but sometimes eaten open-faced....

. The United States and China are leading exporters of peanut butter. Other nuts are used as the basis for similar nut butter
Nut butter
A nut butter is a spreadable foodstuff made by crushing nuts. The result has a high fat content and can be spread like true butter, but is otherwise unrelated...

s.

Peanuts are native to the tropics of the Americas and were mashed to become a pasty substance by the Aztec
Aztec
The Aztec people were certain ethnic groups of central Mexico, particularly those groups who spoke the Nahuatl language and who dominated large parts of Mesoamerica in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries, a period referred to as the late post-classic period in Mesoamerican chronology.Aztec is the...

 Native Americans
Indigenous peoples of the Americas
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South America, their descendants and other ethnic groups who are identified with those peoples. Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, and in the United States as Native Americans...

 hundreds of years ago.
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Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia
Peanut butter is a food paste made primarily from ground dry roasted
Dry roasting
Dry Roasting is a process by which heat is applied to dry foodstuffs without the use of oil or water as a carrier. Unlike other dry heat methods, dry roasting is used with foods such as nuts and seeds, which do not contain significant fat or moisture of their own...

 peanut
Peanut
The peanut, or groundnut , is a species in the legume or "bean" family , so it is not a nut. The peanut was probably first cultivated in the valleys of Peru. It is an annual herbaceous plant growing tall...

s, popular in North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

, Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, and parts of Asia, particularly the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 and Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

. It is mainly used as a sandwich
Sandwich
A sandwich is a food item, typically consisting of two or more slices of :bread with one or more fillings between them, or one slice of bread with a topping or toppings, commonly called an open sandwich. Sandwiches are a widely popular type of lunch food, typically taken to work or school, or...

 spread
Spread (food)
A spread is a food that is spread with a knife onto bread, crackers, or other bread products. Spreads are added to bread products to provide flavor and texture, and are an integral part of the dish, i.e. they should be distinguished from condiments, which are optional additions...

, sometimes in combination as in the peanut butter and jelly sandwich
Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
The peanut butter and jelly sandwich or PB&J is a sandwich, popular in North America, that includes a layer of peanut butter and either jam or jelly on bread, commonly between two slices, but sometimes eaten open-faced....

. The United States and China are leading exporters of peanut butter. Other nuts are used as the basis for similar nut butter
Nut butter
A nut butter is a spreadable foodstuff made by crushing nuts. The result has a high fat content and can be spread like true butter, but is otherwise unrelated...

s.

History


Peanuts are native to the tropics of the Americas and were mashed to become a pasty substance by the Aztec
Aztec
The Aztec people were certain ethnic groups of central Mexico, particularly those groups who spoke the Nahuatl language and who dominated large parts of Mesoamerica in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries, a period referred to as the late post-classic period in Mesoamerican chronology.Aztec is the...

 Native Americans
Indigenous peoples of the Americas
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South America, their descendants and other ethnic groups who are identified with those peoples. Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, and in the United States as Native Americans...

 hundreds of years ago. A number of peanut paste
Peanut paste
Peanut paste is a product of peanuts and is used as in ingredient in sauces, cookies, crackers, , as well as cereals, and ice cream....

 products have been used over the centuries, and the distinction between peanut paste and peanut butter is not always clear in ordinary use. Early forms 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, less creamy and less sweet. 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.

Evidence of peanut butter as it is known today comes from , issued in 1884 to Marcellus Gilmore Edson
Marcellus Gilmore Edson
Marcellus Gilmore Edson of Montreal, Quebec was the first person to patent peanut butter. Edson, a physician developed the idea of packaging peanut paste for people with bad teeth...

 of Montreal
Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

, Quebec
Quebec
Quebec or is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level....

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, for the finished product of the process of milling
Mill (grinding)
A grinding mill is a unit operation designed to break a solid material into smaller pieces. There are many different types of grinding mills and many types of materials processed in them. Historically mills were powered by hand , working animal , wind or water...

 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
Butter
Butter is a dairy product made by churning fresh or fermented cream or milk. It is generally used as a spread and a condiment, as well as in cooking applications, such as baking, sauce making, and pan frying...

, lard
Lard
Lard is pig fat in both its rendered and unrendered forms. Lard was commonly used in many cuisines as a cooking fat or shortening, or as a spread similar to butter. Its use in contemporary cuisine has diminished because of health concerns posed by its saturated-fat content and its often negative...

, or ointment." Edson's patent is based on the preparation of a peanut paste as an intermediate to the production the modern product we know as peanut butter, it does show the initial steps necessary for the production of peanut butter. George Washington Carver
George Washington Carver
George Washington Carver , was an American scientist, botanist, educator, and inventor. The exact day and year of his birth are unknown; he is believed to have been born into slavery in Missouri in January 1864....

 is often credited with inventing peanut butter and is nearly synonymous with its history in the United States.
Dr. Ambrose Straub, a physician in St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis is an independent city on the eastern border of Missouri, United States. With a population of 319,294, it was the 58th-largest U.S. city at the 2010 U.S. Census. The Greater St...

, pursued a method for providing toothless elderly with protein in the 1890s. His peanut-butter-making machine was patented in 1903.

January 24 is National Peanut Butter Day in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

.

Variations


In addition to the really 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



Health benefits


Peanut butter has a high level of monounsaturated fats and resveratrol
Resveratrol
Resveratrol is a stilbenoid, a type of natural phenol, and a phytoalexin produced naturally by several plants when under attack by pathogens such as bacteria or fungi....

. Peanut butter (and peanuts) provide protein
Protein
Proteins are biochemical compounds consisting of one or more polypeptides typically folded into a globular or fibrous form, facilitating a biological function. A polypeptide is a single linear polymer chain of amino acids bonded together by peptide bonds between the carboxyl and amino groups of...

, vitamins B3
Niacin
"Niacin" redirects here. For the neo-fusion band, see Niacin .Niacin is an organic compound with the formula and, depending on the definition used, one of the forty to eighty essential human nutrients.Niacin is one of five vitamins associated with a pandemic deficiency disease: niacin deficiency...

 and E
Vitamin E
Vitamin E is used to refer to a group of fat-soluble compounds that include both tocopherols and tocotrienols. There are many different forms of vitamin E, of which γ-tocopherol is the most common in the North American diet. γ-Tocopherol can be found in corn oil, soybean oil, margarine and dressings...

, magnesium, folate, dietary fiber
Dietary fiber
Dietary fiber, dietary fibre, or sometimes roughage is the indigestible portion of plant foods having two main components:* soluble fiber that is readily fermented in the colon into gases and physiologically active byproducts, and* insoluble fiber that is metabolically inert, absorbing water as it...

, arginine
Arginine
Arginine is an α-amino acid. The L-form is one of the 20 most common natural amino acids. At the level of molecular genetics, in the structure of the messenger ribonucleic acid mRNA, CGU, CGC, CGA, CGG, AGA, and AGG, are the triplets of nucleotide bases or codons that codify for arginine during...

, and high levels of the antioxidant
Antioxidant
An antioxidant is a molecule capable of inhibiting the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that transfers electrons or hydrogen from a substance to an oxidizing agent. Oxidation reactions can produce free radicals. In turn, these radicals can start chain reactions. When...

 p-coumaric acid
Polyphenol antioxidant
A polyphenol antioxidant is a type of antioxidant containing a polyphenolic substructure. Numbering over 4,000 distinct species, many of these compounds have antioxidant activity in vitro but are unlikely to have antioxidant roles in vivo...

.

Health concerns


For people with a peanut allergy
Peanut allergy
Peanut allergy is a type of food allergy distinct from nut allergies. It is a type 1 hypersensitivity reaction to dietary substances from peanuts causing an overreaction of the immune system which in a small percentage of people may lead to severe physical symptoms. It is estimated to affect...

, peanut butter can cause reactions, including anaphylactic shock
Anaphylaxis
Anaphylaxis is defined as "a serious allergic reaction that is rapid in onset and may cause death". It typically results in a number of symptoms including throat swelling, an itchy rash, and low blood pressure...

, which has led to its being banned in some schools.

The peanut plant is susceptible to the mold
Mold
Molds are fungi that grow in the form of multicellular filaments called hyphae. Molds are not considered to be microbes but microscopic fungi that grow as single cells called yeasts...

 Aspergillus flavus
Aspergillus flavus
Aspergillus flavus is a fungus. It is a common mold in the environment, and can cause storage problems in stored grains. It can also be a human pathogen, associated with aspergillosis of the lungs and sometimes causing corneal, otomycotic, and nasoorbital infections. Many strains produce...

which produces a carcinogenic substance called aflatoxin. 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
Carcinogen
A carcinogen is any substance, radionuclide, or radiation that is an agent directly involved in causing cancer. This may be due to the ability to damage the genome or to the disruption of cellular metabolic processes...

. 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.

Some brands of peanut butter may contain a small amount of added partially hydrogenated
Hydrogenation
Hydrogenation, to treat with hydrogen, also a form of chemical reduction, is a chemical reaction between molecular hydrogen and another compound or element, usually in the presence of a catalyst. The process is commonly employed to reduce or saturate organic compounds. Hydrogenation typically...

 vegetable oils, which are high in trans fatty acids
Trans fat
Trans fat is the common name for unsaturated fat with trans-isomer fatty acid. Because the term refers to the configuration of a double carbon-carbon bond, trans fats are sometimes monounsaturated or polyunsaturated, but never saturated....

, thought to be a cause of atherosclerosis
Atherosclerosis
Atherosclerosis is a condition in which an artery wall thickens as a result of the accumulation of fatty materials such as cholesterol...

, coronary heart disease
Coronary heart disease
Coronary artery disease is the end result of the accumulation of atheromatous plaques within the walls of the coronary arteries that supply the myocardium with oxygen and nutrients. It is sometimes also called coronary heart disease...

, and stroke
Stroke
A stroke, previously known medically as a cerebrovascular accident , is the rapidly developing loss of brain function due to disturbance in the blood supply to the brain. This can be due to ischemia caused by blockage , or a hemorrhage...

; 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.

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.

Peanut butter can harbor Salmonella
Salmonella
Salmonella is a genus of rod-shaped, Gram-negative, non-spore-forming, predominantly motile enterobacteria with diameters around 0.7 to 1.5 µm, lengths from 2 to 5 µm, and flagella which grade in all directions . They are chemoorganotrophs, obtaining their energy from oxidation and reduction...

and cause salmonellosis
Salmonellosis
Salmonellosis is an infection with Salmonella bacteria. Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, vomiting, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. In most cases, the illness lasts four to seven days, and most people recover without treatment...

, as in the Salmonella outbreak in the United States in 2007. In 2009, due to mishandling and apparent criminal negligence at a single Peanut Corporation of America
Peanut Corporation of America
Peanut Corporation of America was a peanut-processing business founded in 1977 and headquartered in Lynchburg, Virginia. The company was forced out of business after being found to be the source of a massive salmonella outbreak in the United States during 2008 and 2009.PCA operated processing...

 factory in Blakely, Georgia, Salmonella was found in 46 states in peanut-butter-based products such as crackers, peanut-butter cookies, and dog treat
Dog Treat
Dog Treat is a black and white Chinese animation made in 1924 by Wan Laiming and Wan Guchan.-Translations:The translation comes out to "Dog treating guests" or "Dog entertaining guests". It does not translate to "Dog food".-History:...

s. It had claimed at least nine human lives and made at least 691 people sick in the United States.

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
Cake
Cake is a form of bread or bread-like food. In its modern forms, it is typically a sweet and enriched baked dessert. In its oldest forms, cakes were normally fried breads or cheesecakes, and normally had a disk shape...

, jam, jelly, confectionery
Confectionery
Confectionery is the set of food items that are rich in sugar, any one or type of which is called a confection. Modern usage may include substances rich in artificial sweeteners as well...

, ice cream
Ice cream
Ice cream is a frozen dessert usually made from dairy products, such as milk and cream, and often combined with fruits or other ingredients and flavours. Most varieties contain sugar, although some are made with other sweeteners...

, brownies
Chocolate brownie
A chocolate brownie is a flat, baked square or bar introduced in the United States at the end of the nineteenth century and popularized in both the U.S. and Canada during the first half of the twentieth century. The brownie is sliced from a type of dense, rich chocolate cake, which is, in texture,...

, pretzels, peanut brittle, cookies, porridge
Porridge
Porridge is a dish made by boiling oats or other cereal meals in water, milk, or both. It is usually served hot in a bowl or dish...

, and sandwiches
Sandwiches
"Sandwiches" is a song by American electronic band Detroit Grand Pubahs. It reached number 29 in the Hot Dance Club Songs chart.- Track listing :...

, amongst others.

Some peanut butter marketed as "natural" contains only peanuts and salt
Salt
In chemistry, salts are ionic compounds that result from the neutralization reaction of an acid and a base. They are composed of cations and anions so that the product is electrically neutral...

 (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
Palm oil
Palm oil, coconut oil and palm kernel oil are edible plant oils derived from the fruits of palm trees. Palm oil is extracted from the pulp of the fruit of the oil palm Elaeis guineensis; palm kernel oil is derived from the kernel of the oil palm and coconut oil is derived from the kernel of the...

 is used instead of hydrogenated oils to prevent oil separation. Peanut butter is also sold mixed with other pastes, such as chocolate, jelly (jam), fluff, and the like.

Other uses


Plumpy'nut
Plumpy'nut
Plumpy'nut is a peanut-based paste in a plastic wrapper for treatment of severe acute malnutrition manufactured by a French company, Nutriset...

 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.

A common, simple outdoor bird feeder
Bird feeder
A birdfeeder, bird feeder, bird table, or tray feeder are devices placed outdoors to supply bird food to birds...

 can be made by coating a pine cone once with peanut butter, then again with birdseed.

Peanut butter is an effective bait for mouse traps.

The oils found in peanut butter are known to allow chewing gum
Chewing gum
Chewing gum is a type of gum traditionally made of chicle, a natural latex product, or synthetic rubber known as polyisobutylene. For economical and quality reasons, many modern chewing gums use rubber instead of chicle...

 to be removed from hair.

Other names


A slang
Slang
Slang is the use of informal words and expressions that are not considered standard in the speaker's language or dialect but are considered more acceptable when used socially. Slang is often to be found in areas of the lexicon that refer to things considered taboo...

 term for peanut butter in World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 was "monkey butter".

In Dutch
Dutch language
Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...

 peanut butter is called pindakaas (peanut cheese), because the name butter
Butter
Butter is a dairy product made by churning fresh or fermented cream or milk. It is generally used as a spread and a condiment, as well as in cooking applications, such as baking, sauce making, and pan frying...

 was protected in the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 when peanut butter came on the market in 1948. The word kaas, cheese
Cheese
Cheese is a generic term for a diverse group of milk-based food products. Cheese is produced throughout the world in wide-ranging flavors, textures, and forms....

, was already being used in another product (leverkaas) that has no cheese in it. This product is similar to another cold cut
Cold cut
Cold cuts are cheeses or precooked or cured meat, often sausages or meat loaves, that are sliced and usually served cold on sandwiches or on party trays. They can be bought pre-sliced in vacuum packs at a supermarket or grocery store, or they can be purchased at a delicatessen or deli counter,...

 product, leverpastei
Leverpostej
Leverpostej , leverpostei , leverpastej , , maksapasteija or leverpastei is a "pâté" made of pork liver and lard, which is a popular spread in northern Europe...

.

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."

External links