Value-added peanut ingredients have been developed which have a number of applications including bakery, confectionery and the general consumer market.
Among these are:
Made from raw peanuts which have been cleaned, blanched and electronically sorted to select the highest quality peanuts, the nuts are then roasted and naturally processed to obtain a lower fat peanut flour with a strong roasted peanut flavour.
Peanut flour is used in confectionery products, seasoning blends, bakery mixes, frostings, fillings, cereal bars and nutritional bars. Because the flour is partially defatted, it works well as a fat binder in applications such as confection centers. Using peanut flour at a level of 4-8% in a formulation has been found to extend the shelf life of confections and can contribute a peanut flavour to the product. Peanut flour, because of its high protein content (45%-50%), is a good protein source in addition to its function as a flavouring agent.
Peanut oil is extracted from shelled and crushed peanuts by one or a combination of the following methods: hydraulic pressing; expeller pressing; and/or solvent extraction. Highly aromatic 100% peanut oil and peanut extract also are available. These products have a strong roasted peanut flavoUr and aroma. Suggested applications for these products include flavoUring compounds, confections, sauces and baked goods.
Roasted peanuts are available in several different packages and roast variations. Different coatings can be applied to the peanuts prior to and after roasting to provide a variety of products including such flavoUrs as honey, smoked, sweet, hot and spicy, and salty.
A variety of different peanut butter products is currently available. Peanuts are roasted, blanched and sorted before grinding into a creamy consistency. Peanut butter produced in the US contains a minimum of 90% peanuts; sweeteners and salt can be added to enhance flavoUr while small amounts of stabilizers are used to prevent oil separation. The small amount of stabilizer used does not contribute trans fatty acids to the product. Peanut pieces can be added to provide a crunchy style. Custom formulations also can be developed to modify the texture or sweetness or to add flavoUring.
Reduced fat peanut butters are also available which provide a fat reduction of at least 25%. Several different varieties are sold for both consumer and industrial use with varying peanut content depending on the flavoUr and consistency of the product needed. Other modified formulations for peanut butter, peanut spreads and peanut paste are available from most manufacturers.
Peanut butter is available in consumer-ready packaging or in institutional/catering containers for use in bakery and confectionery products.
Peanut paste, which is 100% ground peanuts, is used in a variety of industrial food recipes and is available from processors.
More detailed information papers and a list of suppliers is available through the links appearing either to the right of or below this article.