Peanut oil

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A bottle of peanut oil, with Vitamin E added as a preservative

Peanut oil, also known as groundnut oil or arachis oil, is a mild tasting vegetable oil derived from peanuts. The oil is available in refined, unrefined, cold pressed, and roasted varieties, the latter with a strong peanut flavor and aroma, analogous to sesame oil.[1][2]

It is often used in Chinese, South Asian and Southeast Asian cuisine, both for general cooking, and in the case of roasted oil, for added flavor. Peanut oil has a high smoke point relative to many other cooking oils, so is commonly used for frying foods. Its major component fatty acids are oleic acid (46.8% as olein), linoleic acid (33.4% as linolein), and palmitic acid (10.0% as palmitin).[3] The oil also contains some stearic acid, arachidic acid, arachidonic acid, behenic acid, lignoceric acid and other fatty acids.

Antioxidants such as vitamin E are sometimes added, to improve the shelf life of the oil.[4]


Shortage of whale oil in the Confederacy made peanut oil an attractive alternative during the Civil War. [5]The oil had increased use in the United States during World War II, because of war shortages of other oils.[6]

Nutritional content[edit]

Peanut Oil
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 3,699 kJ (884 kcal)
0 g
100 g
Saturated 17 g
Monounsaturated 46 g
Polyunsaturated 32 g
0 g
Vitamin E
15.7 mg
Trace metals
0.01 mg
Other constituents
Cholesterol 0 mg
Selenium 0.0 mcg

Fat percentage can vary.
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database

According to the USDA data upon which the following table is based, 100 g of peanut oil contains 17.7 g of saturated fat, 48.3 g of monounsaturated fat, and 33.4 g of polyunsaturated fat.[3]

Comparison of dietary fats
Comparative properties of common cooking fats (per 100 g)
Total fat Saturated fat Monounsaturated fat Polyunsaturated fat Smoke point
Sunflower oil 100 g 11 g (11%) 20 g (84 g in high oleic variety[7]) 69 g (4 g in high oleic variety[7]) 225 °C (437 °F)[8]
Soybean oil 100 g 16 g (16%) 23 g 58 g 257 °C (495 °F)[8]
Canola oil 100 g 7 g (7%) 63 g 28 g 205 °C (401 °F)[7][9]
Olive oil 100 g 14 g (14%) 73 g 11 g 190 °C (374 °F)[8]
Corn oil 100 g 15 g (15%) 30 g 55 g 230 °C (446 °F)[8]
Peanut oil 100 g 17 g (17%) 46 g 32 g 225 °C (437 °F)[8]
Rice bran oil 100 g 25 g (25%) 38 g 37 g 250 °C (482 °F)[10]
Vegetable shortening (hydrogenated) 71 g 23 g (34%) 8 g (11%) 37 g (52%) 165 °C (329 °F)[8]
Lard 100 g 39 g (39%) 45 g 11 g 190 °C (374 °F)[8]
Suet 94 g 52 g (55%) 32 g (34%) 3 g (3%) 200 °C (392 °F)
Butter 81 g 51 g (63%) 21 g (26%) 3 g (4%) 150 °C (302 °F)[8]
Coconut oil 100 g 86 g (86%) 6 g (6%) 2 g (2%) 177 °C (351 °F)

Allergens and toxins[edit]

4 gallons of peanut oil

Most highly refined peanut oils remove the peanut allergens and have been shown to be safe for "the vast majority of peanut-allergic individuals".[11] However, cold-pressed peanut oils may not remove the allergens and thus could be highly dangerous to people with peanut allergy.[12] Since the degree of processing for any particular product is often unclear, "avoidance is prudent."[13][14] If quality control is neglected, peanuts that contain the mold that produces highly toxic aflatoxin can end up contaminating the oil derived from them.[15]

Other uses[edit]

"Peanut oil will make medicine"

Peanut oil, as with other vegetable oils, can be used to make soap by the process of saponification.[16] The oil is safe for use as a massage oil. Peanut researcher George Washington Carver marketed a peanut massage oil.[17][18]


At the 1900 Paris Exhibition, the Otto Company, at the request of the French Government, demonstrated that peanut oil could be used as a source of fuel for the diesel engine; this was one of the earliest demonstrations of biodiesel technology.[19]

Suspension agent[edit]

Some medicines and vitamins use arachis oil as a suspension agent.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Liu, Xiaojun; Jin, Qingzhe; Liu, Yuanfa; Huang, Jianhua; Wang, Xingguo; Mao, Wenyue; Wang, Shanshan (2011). "Changes in Volatile Compounds of Peanut Oil during the Roasting Process for Production of Aromatic Roasted Peanut Oil". Journal of Food Science 76 (3): C404–12. doi:10.1111/j.1750-3841.2011.02073.x. PMID 21535807. 
  2. ^ "USA-Grown Peanut Sources - Peanut Oil". National Peanut Board. 
  3. ^ a b "USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference". Nutrient Data Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 3 August 2011.  Choose peanut oil and then "Oil, peanut, salad or cooking".
  4. ^ Chu, Yan-Hwa; Hsu, Hsia-Fen (1999). "Effects of antioxidants on peanut oil stability". Food Chemistry 66: 29–34. doi:10.1016/S0308-8146(98)00082-X. 
  5. ^, January 16th, p.1., c.5
  6. ^ "The Peanut Situation" (Dec 12, 1942) The Billboard
  7. ^ a b c "Nutrient database, Release 25". United States Department of Agriculture. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h The Culinary Institute of America (2011). The Professional Chef (9th ed.). Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0-470-42135-2. OCLC 707248142. 
  9. ^ Katragadda, H. R.; Fullana, A. S.; Sidhu, S.; Carbonell-Barrachina, Á. A. (2010). "Emissions of volatile aldehydes from heated cooking oils". Food Chemistry 120: 59. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2009.09.070.  edit
  10. ^ [[1]]
  11. ^ Crevel, R.W.R; Kerkhoff, M.A.T; Koning, M.M.G (2000). "Allergenicity of refined vegetable oils". Food and Chemical Toxicology 38 (4): 385–93. doi:10.1016/S0278-6915(99)00158-1. PMID 10722892. 
  12. ^ Hourihane, J. O'B; Bedwani, S. J; Dean, T. P; Warner, J. O (1997). "Randomised, double blind, crossover challenge study of allergenicity of peanut oils in subjects allergic to peanuts". BMJ 314 (7087): 1084–8. doi:10.1136/bmj.314.7087.1084. PMC 2126478. PMID 9133891. 
  13. ^ "Peanut Allergy". Food Allergy Initiative. Retrieved 3 August 2011. 
  14. ^ Carlson, Margaret (13 January 2012). "Deaths Show Schools Need Power of the EpiPen: Margaret Carlson". Bloomberg. 
  15. ^ "Aflatoxin suspected in cooking oil". United Press International. December 29, 2011. 
  16. ^ "Saponification Table Plus The Characteristics of Oils in Soap", Soap Making Resource
  17. ^ "Peanut Oil", Meridian Institute
  18. ^ "Oil Treatment for the Hands Gaining Favor" (Jun 24, 1939) Spokane Daily Chronicle
  19. ^ "Peanut Biodiesel". Boiled Peanut World. 2010. Retrieved 3 August 2011. 

External links[edit]