Custom Products & Processing
In recent years, U.S. processors and manufacturers have greatly expanded the range of specialized products available. American processors can meet individual specifications and can offer many new and interesting products which incorporate flavors, coatings and processes. These products are available in bulk, institutional and consumer sizes. Peanut butter, roasted and flavored kernels, roasted and sized peanut granules, and salted inshell peanuts, peanut flour, peanut oil (both refined and crude) and aromatic oil and extract are all available from U.S. shellers, blanchers and manufacturers.
Utilizing modern techniques, custom processors are able to provide customers with a range of services, including:
In spite of the name, blanched peanuts are still raw, and the process involves using a moderate heat treatment to loosen and remove peanut skins. U.S. technological advances have allowed blanched peanuts with better quality including fewer splits, less foreign material, and greater uniformity of flavor and color.
Cleaning and Sizing
As part of the shelling process, U.S. peanuts are graded and sized for consistency. The cleaning process removes peanuts with defects, foreign material, and additional sizing.
Customized coatings can be developed for whole or split peanuts.
Value-added products have been developed which have a number of applications including bakery, confectionery and the general consumer market.
Peanut flour is 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 flavor.
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 flavor 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 flavoring 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 flavor and aroma. Suggested applications for these products include flavoring 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 flavors 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 U.S. contains a minimum of 90% peanuts; sweeteners and salt can be added to enhance flavor 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 flavoring.
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 flavor 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.