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Amazing Peanut Butter Facts

Did You Know...

  • Peanut Butter... that Peanut Butter is a food paste made primarily from ground dry roasted peanuts, popular in the Philippines, North America, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom?

  • … that Peanut Butter is mainly used as a sandwich spread, sometimes in combination as in the peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

  • … that the United States and China are leading exporters of Peanut Butter and other nuts are used as the basis for similar nut butters?

  • … that January 24 is National Peanut Butter Day in the United States?

  • … that in Australia, it was once known as peanut paste?

History

  • … that 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?

  • … that evidence of Peanut Butter as it is known today comes from US 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"?

  • … that as the peanut product cooled, it set into what Marcellus Gilmore Edson explained as being "a consistency like that of butter, lard, or ointment"?

  • … that Marcellus Gilmore Edson's patent is based on the preparation of a peanut paste as an intermediate to the production of peanut candies?

  • … that while Marcellus Gilmore Edson's patent does not describe the modern confection we know as peanut butter, it does show the initial steps necessary for the production of peanut butter?

  • … that J.H. Kellogg, of breakfast cereal fame, secured US patent 580,787 in 1897 for his "Process of Preparing Nutmeal," which produced a "pasty adhesive substance" that Kellogg called "nut-butter"?

  • … that Dr. Ambrose Straub, a physician in St. Louis, Missouri pursued a method for providing toothless elderly with protein in the 1890s with his peanut-butter-making machine was patented in 1903?

  • … that a popular myth is that George Washington Carver (1864–1943) invented peanut butter?

  • … that while George Washington Carver is credited with inventing over 300 uses for peanuts, peanut butter was not one of them, as it had already been invented before he commenced research on the legumes around 1915; however, this myth is still taught in many American school systems.

Health

Health benefits

  • … that Peanut Butter may protect against a high risk of cardiovascular disease due to high levels of monounsaturated fats and resveratrol; butter prepared with the skin of the peanuts has a greater level of resveratrol and other health-aiding agents?

  • … that Peanut Butter (and peanuts) provide protein, vitamins B3 and E, magnesium, folate, dietary fiber, arginine, and high levels of the antioxidant p-coumaric acid?

Health concerns

  • … that for people with a peanut allergy, peanut butter can cause reactions, including anaphylactic shock, which has led to its banning in some schools?

  • … that the peanut plant is susceptible to the mold Aspergillus flavus which produces a carcinogenic substance called aflatoxin?

  • … that 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?

  • … that 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?

  • … that 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.

  • … that natural peanut butter and peanuts do not contain partially hydrogenated oils?

  • … that 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?

  • … that this survey was conducted in 2001, and it is unclear what the current state of trans fats is in peanut butter products that contain partially hydrogenated oils?

  • … that by law, if a serving size on the nutrition label contains less than 0.5 grams of trans fats, then the manufacturer is legally allowed to claim that that the product contains "0g Trans Fats per serving"?

  • … that some manufacturers have decreased the serving size of their products in order to be able to claim that the product contains "No Trans Fat per serving"?

  • … that at least one study has found that peanut oil caused relatively heavy clogging of arteries?
    … that 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.

  • … that Peanut Butter can harbor salmonella and cause salmonellosis, as in the salmonella outbreak in the United States in 2007.

  • … that 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 in peanut-butter-based products such as crackers, peanut-butter cookies, and dog treats?

  • … that it has claimed at least nine human lives as of March 17, 2009, and made at least 691 people sick in the United States?

Peanut butter in food products

  • … that Peanut Butter has been used in other food products for many years?

  • … that since then there has been large development into peanut butter's use in other foodstuffs, some of which include cake, jam, jelly, confectionary, ice cream, brownies, pretzels, peanut brittle, cookies, porridge and sandwiches amongst others?

  • … that 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?

  • … that sometimes palm oil is used instead of hydrogenated oils to prevent oil separation?

  • … that Peanut Butter is also sold mixed with other pastes, such as chocolate, jelly (jam) and the like?

Other uses

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

  • … that a common, simple outdoor bird feeder can be made by coating a pine cone once with peanut butter, then again with birdseed?

  • … that Peanut Butter is an effective bait for mouse traps?

  • … that the oils found in peanut butter are known to allow chewing gum to be removed from hair?

Product name

Dutch

  • … that 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 that country (1948)?

  • … that the word kaas, cheese, was already being used in another product (leverkaas) that has no cheese in it and this product is similar to another cold cut product, leverpostej.


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