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 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, behenic acid, lignoceric acid and other fatty acids.[4]

Antioxidants such as vitamin E are sometimes added to improve the shelf life of the oil.[5]


Shortage of whale oil in the Confederacy made peanut oil an attractive alternative during the American Civil War.[6] The oil had increased use in the United States during World War II, because of war shortages of other oils.[7]

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
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 )
Type of fat Total fat (g) Saturated fat (g) Monounsaturated fat (g) Polyunsaturated fat (g) Smoke point
Sunflower oil 100 11 20 69 225 °C (437 °F)[8]
Sunflower oil (high oleic) 100 12 84 [9] 4 [9]
Soybean oil 100 16 23 58 257 °C (495 °F)[8]
Canola oil 100 7 63 28 205 °C (401 °F)[9][10]
Olive oil 100 14 73 11 190 °C (374 °F)[8]
Corn oil 100 15 30 55 230 °C (446 °F)[8]
Peanut oil 100 17 46 32 225 °C (437 °F)[8]
Rice bran oil 100 25 38 37 250 °C (482 °F)[11]
Vegetable shortening (hydrogenated) 71 23 8 37 165 °C (329 °F)[8]
Lard 100 39 45 11 190 °C (374 °F)[8]
Suet 94 52 32 3 200 °C (392 °F)
Butter 81 51 21 3 150 °C (302 °F)[8]
Coconut oil 100 86 6 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".[12] However, cold-pressed peanut oils may not remove the allergens and thus could be highly dangerous to people with peanut allergy.[13] Since the degree of processing for any particular product is often unclear, "avoidance is prudent."[14][15] If quality control is neglected, peanuts that contain the mold that produces highly toxic aflatoxin can end up contaminating the oil derived from them.[16]

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.[17] The oil is safe for use as a massage oil. Peanut researcher George Washington Carver marketed a peanut massage oil.[18][19]


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.[20]

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. PMID 21535807. doi:10.1111/j.1750-3841.2011.02073.x. 
  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. ^ Anyasor, G.N.; Ogunwenmo, K.O.; Oyelana, O.A.; Ajayi, D.; Dangana, J. (2009). "Chemical Analyses of Groundnut (Arachis hypogaea) Oil". Pakistan Journal of Nutrition. 8 (3): 269–272. doi:10.3923/pjn.2009.269.272. 
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^, 16 January, p.1., c.5
  7. ^ "The Peanut Situation" (Dec 12, 1942) The Billboard
  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. ^ a b c "Nutrient database, Release 25". United States Department of Agriculture. 
  10. ^ 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. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ 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. PMID 10722892. doi:10.1016/S0278-6915(99)00158-1. 
  13. ^ 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. PMC 2126478Freely accessible. PMID 9133891. doi:10.1136/bmj.314.7087.1084. 
  14. ^ "Peanut Allergy". Food Allergy Initiative. Retrieved 3 August 2011. 
  15. ^ Carlson, Margaret (13 January 2012). "Deaths Show Schools Need Power of the EpiPen: Margaret Carlson". Bloomberg. 
  16. ^ "Aflatoxin suspected in cooking oil". United Press International. 29 December 2011. 
  17. ^ "Saponification Table Plus The Characteristics of Oils in Soap", Soap Making Resource
  18. ^ "Peanut Oil", Meridian Institute
  19. ^ "Oil Treatment for the Hands Gaining Favor" (Jun 24, 1939) Spokane Daily Chronicle
  20. ^ "Peanut Biodiesel". Boiled Peanut World. 2010. Retrieved 3 August 2011. 

External links[edit]