Sunflower butter

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Sunflower butter
Alternative names Sunflower seed butter
Type Spread
Main ingredients Oil of sunflower seeds
Cookbook:Sunflower butter  Sunflower butter

Sunflower butter, also known as sunflower seed butter or sunbutter, is a food paste made from the oil of sunflower seeds.[1] Leading brands in the United States include SunButter and Trader Joe's sunflower seed butter.

History[edit]

U.S. commercial versions of sunflower butter were first introduced in the early 1980s as alternatives to peanut butter, particularly for those with nut allergies or peanut allergies; these attempts were unsuccessful, which was attributed to issues with its greenish appearance, "poor texture", and a bitter under-roasted taste.[2]

Two decades later, in 2000, researchers at the Agricultural Research Service of the Department of Agriculture, working with sunflower seed processor Red River Commodities, developed a formulation that "resembled the texture, flavor, and nutty appearance of commercially available peanut butter", focusing on the degree of roasting and the amounts of sugar, salt, and stabilizer (hydrogenated cottonseed and rapeseed oils).[2] At that same time, Red River Commodities invested in new sunflower seed hybrids and specialized production areas, formed the subsidiary SunGold Foods, Inc., and created a peanut-free and tree-nut free food processing, packaging, distribution and shipping environment at both company’s locations.[3] The substitute for peanut butter, introduced in 2002, became known as SunButter.[3]

By 2011, SunButter became available at major grocery retailers such as Kroger, SuperValu, Walmart, Target, Trader Joe's and Whole Foods.[3]

Health benefits[edit]

Sunflower seeds are a good source of protein, fiber, zinc and iron, and are low in saturated fat.[4] They are also rich in alpha-tocopherols, which have been shown effective in reducing the risk of certain types of cancers, including bladder cancer.[5]

In addition, sunflower butter is rich in three B vitamins essential for human health: niacin, pantothenic acid, and folate.

Alternative to peanut butter[edit]

Due to the prevalence of peanut allergies, many schools are offering peanut-free menu options or implementing entirely nut-free policies.[6] Sunflower butter can provide an alternative in schools where peanut butter and other nuts have been banned. However, a small number of people with peanut allergies may also be allergic to sunflower seed butter. According to one study a person with a known peanut allergy suffered an acute reaction to a "nut-free" butter containing sunflower seeds.[7]

From a nutritional perspective, sunflower butter contains almost four times as much vitamin E[8] as peanut butter, and about twice as much iron, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc. Peanut butter contains higher levels of protein and slightly less sugar and fat.[9]

Raw versus roasted butter[edit]

The macronutrient profiles of raw and roasted sunflower seeds are largely similar. However, many raw food enthusiasts feel that roasting reduces the nutritional value and antioxidant levels of the seeds.[10]

Distribution[edit]

SunButter is now available in a variety of flavors, and is found in grocery chains and health food stores. It is used in many institutional foodservice programs, including public and private schools and school districts that have become peanut-free and tree-nut free as part of the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Management Act (FAAMA),[11] which calls for voluntary national guidelines to help schools manage students affected by food allergy and anaphylaxis.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Peabody, Erin (May 17, 2005). "Sunflower Seed Butter Improves As It Spreads Across America". United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2009-01-07. 
  2. ^ a b Lima, Isabel M.; Guraya, Harmeet S. (2005). "Optimization Analysis of Sunflower Butter". Journal of Food Science (Institute of Food Technologists) 70 (6): 365–370. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2621.2005.tb11457.x. Retrieved 2011-03-18. 
  3. ^ a b c d "News & Events: SunButter". Agricultural Research Service. USDA. January 4, 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-18. 
  4. ^ Lima, Isabel; Guraya, Harmeet (2010). "Sunflower Butter". USDA. Retrieved 2011-03-02. 
  5. ^ Thomas, R.G.; Genhardt, S.E. (2012). "Nuts And Seeds As Sources Of Alpha and Gamma Tocopheros". USDA. Retrieved 2011-03-02. 
  6. ^ Groce, Victoria (June 9, 2008). "Why is My Child's School Nut-Free? What food can she bring?". Retrieved 2011-03-03. 
  7. ^ Hsu, Denise; Katelaris, Constance (2007). "Is "nut-free" sunflower seed butter safer for children with peanut allergy?". The Medical Journal of Australia (Australasian Medical Publishing Company) 187 (9): 542–543. Retrieved 2012-03-01. 
  8. ^ Vitamin E and Minerals: Eye Nutrition from Nuts - AllAboutVision.com
  9. ^ Thomas, R.G.; Genhardt, S.E. (2012). "Sunflower Seed Butter and Almond Butter as Nutrient-Rich Alternatives to Peanut Butter". USDA. Retrieved 2011-03-02. 
  10. ^ Graham, Dr. Douglas N. "The Challenges of Going on a Raw Food Diet". Retrieved 2011-03-03. 
  11. ^ "The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Management Act". The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN). Retrieved 2012-11-12.