Foundation Diet and Health
Diet and Health
QR Code
The best perspective for your health
This page was translated through Google Translator

Peanut oil (organic?, raw?)

Peanut oil has a spicy but mild taste. It goes well with many dishes, such as wok dishes or deep-frying. Raw? Organic?
Macronutrient carbohydrates 0%
Macronutrient proteins 0%
Macronutrient fats 100%

The three ratios show the percentage by weight of macronutrients (carbohydrates / proteins / fats) of the dry matter (excl. water).

Ω-6 (LA, 32g)
Omega-6 fatty acid such as linoleic acid (LA)
 : Ω-3 (ALA, <0.1g)
Omega-3 fatty acid such as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
 = !:0

Omega-6 ratio to omega-3 fatty acids should not exceed a total of 5:1. Link to explanation.

Here, essential linolenic acid (LA) 32 g and almost no alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).

Peanut oil is extracted from peanut seeds ( Arachis hypogaea) . It is not always clear whether cold-pressed oil is really raw . Also available in organic quality.

Use in the kitchen

Cold-pressed (raw) peanut oil is yellowish in color. It has a peanut note and smells slightly fruity. Due to its smoke point of 160 °C, cold-pressed peanut oil is suitable for cold and warm cooking, but it is unsuitable for hot cooking. 1 Refined peanut oil is whitish and has a more neutral odor and taste than cold-pressed oil. Its smoke point is around 232 °C, which makes refined peanut oil very heat-resistant. 1 It can be used in hot cooking, for example for deep-frying. Refined peanut oil is often found in margarine, mayonnaise or as a vegetable alternative to ghee. Oil made from roasted peanuts tastes very nutty and aromatic, which is why it is often used to add flavor, for example in sweets.

Cold-pressed peanut oil goes perfectly with salad dressings, vegetables - such as root vegetables (e.g. carrots ; celeriac ); cabbage ( orange cauliflower in tahini sauce ; broccoli ); zucchini , tomatoes , peppers (summer vegetables with peanut oil) or mushrooms (mushrooms with peanut and avocado filling). It can also be found in dips, sauces ( sweet potato satay with spicy peanut sauce ) or marinades. Refined peanut oil is used particularly in Asian cuisine for wok dishes (vegetable and peanut wok) or unrefined as a seasoning. Refined peanut oil is suitable for frying tofu or tempeh ( curry orange tempeh with spiced rice ). It is also used for frying chips. Peanut oil goes well with potatoes , rice , wholemeal noodles , rice noodles and millet etc.

Vegan recipe of "tuna" in peanut oil marinade

Ingredients (for 4 people): 500g watermelon (raw, organic) , 2 tbsp peanut oil, unrefined, 1.5 tbsp soy sauce (tamari) , 1.5 tbsp rice vinegar , 2 garlic cloves , 1 tsp ginger (raw, organic) , grated, 1 nori sheet (red algae sheet) , sesame seeds (optional), chili powder , salt.

Preparation: Preheat the oven to 200 °C (top/bottom heat). Cut the melon into 3x3 cm cubes and spread on a baking tray. Sprinkle with a little salt and bake in the oven for 1 hour. Turn once after 30 minutes. Meanwhile, press the garlic cloves, grate the ginger and chop the nori sheet into small pieces and place in a bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mix. Then add the cooled watermelon pieces and mix again. Leave the mixture to sit in the fridge for at least 24 hours. After this time, remove the pieces from the marinade and either eat them straight away or roll them in sesame seeds. This "tuna" alternative is ideal on salads or with rice.

Vegan recipes with peanut oil can be found under the note: " Recipes that have the most of this ingredient ".

Not only vegans or vegetarians should read this:
Vegans often eat unhealthily. Avoidable nutritional mistakes

Purchasing - Storage

In supermarkets (such as Coop , Migros, Spar , Aldi , Lidl , Rewe , Edeka , Hofer , Billa ) you can find peanut oil all year round, mainly in conventional quality and refined. In organic supermarkets (such as Denn's Biomarkt and Alnatura ), drugstores such as DM and in traditional oil mills (such as Fandler ) it is available all year round in organic quality and cold-pressed. Smaller supermarkets such as Denner or Volg offer the oil as part of selected promotions. Depending on the supplier, the oil is made from roasted or unroasted peanuts. However, cold-pressed peanut oil made from roasted peanuts no longer has a raw character.

Depending on the type of application, you should pay attention to whether you buy refined or unrefined oil. If you want to heat something very strongly (e.g. frying), refined oil is best because of its smoke point. Otherwise, cold-pressed, unrefined peanut oil is preferable because it contains more nutrients, flavors, etc. When buying, pay attention to whether the peanut oil already contains impurities. If this is the case, it is best to buy a different bottle because the oil could be rancid.

The availability of peanut oil varies depending on the size of the store, catchment area, etc. Our recorded food prices for the DA-CH countries can be found above under the ingredient image - and by clicking you can see their development at various suppliers.

Cold-pressed oils (laws)

In Switzerland, an oil is considered cold-pressed if the oilseed was not heated, the pressing temperature did not exceed 50 °C and no problematic post-treatment was carried out. According to the Federal Department of Home Affairs ( EDI ), an edible oil is considered cold-pressed (or may contain synonyms such as (extra) virgin, unrefined, cold-pressed or natural) if it is obtained by pressing or centrifuging from previously unheated raw materials, the temperature during pressing did not exceed 50 °C and there was no refining, i.e. no neutralization, no treatment with adsorbents, bleaching earth and no steaming.

An oil can be called gently steamed if the refining process is limited to steaming and the temperature has not exceeded 130 °C. 28

In the EU and the USA, there does not appear to be a generally applicable temperature limit set by law for cold-pressed oils. In Germany, similar values apply to those in the EDI regulation in Switzerland. However, the guidelines in Germany do not specify a permissible maximum temperature for general cold pressing. They only refer to products whose labelling and composition are not conclusively set by law (e.g. not for olive oil , spreadable fats). 29

On the other hand, both the EU directives and the amendment to the EDI regulation on foodstuffs of plant origin, mushrooms and table salt (and its amendment) provide for a special rule for the labelling of olive oils . 30 ,31

The terms "raw food" and "raw" are not state-protected terms, such as "organic". Although the pressing temperatures in purely mechanical cold pressing do not usually exceed 42 °C, one should not naively assume that edible oils are of raw food quality. There is a suspicion that the measuring method used does not indicate the temperature in the press cylinder, where the heating is highest. In addition, the pressing pressure, the pressing speed and the moisture content of the oilseed influence the pressing temperature. If the moisture content is too low, the temperature rises during pressing and can even exceed the maximum limit of 50 °C.

With water-cooled olive oil presses (so-called "water-cooled 37°" oil presses), it is probably not even possible to say with any certainty what the exact temperature is inside the press cylinder, because the entire press cylinder is surrounded by cooling sleeves. 32

Storage tips

Peanut oil is sensitive to light, heat and oxygen. The unsaturated fatty acids it contains can oxidize, causing the oil to take on a rancid character. 26 To counteract this, it is best to store the oil in well-sealed bottles in a dark and cool place. Unopened peanut oil lasts up to 24 months, opened refined peanut oil 8 to 10 months and opened cold-pressed oil 4 to 6 months. Peanut oil solidifies at cool temperatures, which is why it develops a solid to gel-like consistency when stored in the refrigerator. When it returns to room temperature, the taste is unchanged and the consistency becomes liquid again. Rancid peanut oil can be recognized by a musty smell and a changed taste. The oil should no longer be used after this point.

Ingredients - Nutritional Values - Calories

What are the nutritional values of peanut oil? Peanut oil contains 884 kcal per 100 g. This means that per portion (10 g) you get 88.4 kcal. All of the calories come from fat. There are no carbohydrates or protein in peanut oil. Of 100 g of fat, 17 g are saturated fatty acids, which corresponds to 84.5% of the daily requirement. Compared to other oils such as linseed oil with 1.2 g/100g saturated fatty acids , peanut oil has a high proportion of these saturated fatty acids, of which we tend to consume far too much. 2

The linoleic acid (omega-6 fatty acid, LA) content is 32 g per 100 g, which covers 320% of the daily requirement. Sesame oil has a similar value at 41 g/100g, whereas grape seed oil at 70 g/100g has more than twice the linoleic acid (LA), of which we already have too much. Since peanut oil does not contain alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3 fatty acid, ALA) , the result is a very unbalanced (poor) omega-3 omega-6 ratio. Too much linoleic acid can promote inflammation. 8 Ideally, you should aim for a fatty acid ratio (LA:ALA) of 1:1 or 2-4:1 through your diet in order to protect your health as best as possible. 3,11 Vegetable oils that have a more balanced fatty acid ratio (LA:ALA) are cold-pressed linseed oil with 1:4, cold-pressed rapeseed oil with 2:1 and hemp oil with 4:1. 2

Peanut oil has 16 mg of vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) . This corresponds to 131% of the daily requirement, but hopefully nobody consumes 100 g of oil. This content is comparable to palm oil (16 g/100g) and cold-pressed rapeseed oil (17 mg/100g). Hazelnut oil contains 47 mg/100g, almost three times as much vitamin E.

Peanut oil contains 0.7 µg of vitamin K per 100 g, which covers 1% of the daily requirement. Coconut oil has a similarly low value (0.6 µg/100g). Pumpkin seed oil contains 112 µg per 100g, which is 160 times more vitamin K. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), peanut oil does not contain vitamin D. 2

Cold-pressed peanut oils contain various secondary plant substances. These include phenolic compounds such as catechin or naringenin, phytosterols such as campesterol or sitosterol, as well as carotenoids, chlorophyll and saquele. 4,5,7 Compared to other production methods, cold-pressed peanut oil has the most bioactive components and the best fatty acid composition. 5

Clicking on the nutritional value takes you to the respective article. Here you can also find the structural formula for vitamin K or alpha-linolenic acid, for example.

The complete ingredients of peanut oil, the coverage of the daily requirement and comparison values with other ingredients can be found in our nutrient tables. In the article Nutrients explained you will get a detailed insight into the topic.

Effects on health

Peanut oil appears to have a positive effect on cardiovascular health, reducing total and LDL cholesterol and lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease. According to an animal study, it delays the development of arteriosclerosis. 6 A similar effect was found in human studies. In general, peanut oil is said to have an anti-inflammatory effect and thus minimize the risk of chronic diseases (diabetes, cancer, heart disease). Peanut oil is said to have a blood pressure-lowering effect in normolipidemic adults. The positive effects of peanut oil are associated on the one hand with the fatty acid composition - high proportion of oleic acid (monounsaturated) and linoleic acid (polyunsaturated) - and on the other hand with the secondary plant substances. 7

For greater transparency, it should be added that source 7 partially contradicts itself. For example, it states that there is no resveratrol in peanut oil, but still attributes positive effects to peanut oil. 7 Although resveratrol is not included above, the source must be treated with caution.

Peanut oil contains the fatty acids oleic and linoleic acid, but does not contain omega 3 fatty acids (alpha-linolenic acid) . Despite the advantages described above, you should make sure to include oils, nuts and seeds in your diet that are rich in alpha-linolenic acid ( linseed oil , walnuts , etc.). Our body only synthesizes DHA and EPA from these. 8 In addition, this achieves the desired LA:ALA ratio (see ingredients). An appropriate LA:ALA ratio appears to prevent inflammatory processes and arteriosclerotic diseases. 27 An increased consumption of omega-6 fatty acids ( linoleic acid ), on the other hand, is considered to promote inflammation. 8 Unlike LA or ALA, oleic acid is not essential because our body produces them itself. 8 ,9 Therefore, you do not have to ingest it with your diet. Some of the positive health effects described are attributed to the secondary plant substances in the oil. The main sources are not oils, but fruits, vegetables, legumes and cereal products. 10

When it comes to sources of fat, unprocessed foods such as nuts or seeds are generally preferred over oils. Some authors even go so far as to reject oil in principle and instead cite nuts and seeds as the fat requirement. Doctors Dean Ornish, T. Colin Campbell, John A. McDougall, Michael Klaper, Caldwell Esselstyn, Michael Greger, Joel Fuhrman, and Neal D. Barnard claim that high animal fat and protein diets, such as the standard American diet, are detrimental to health. Details can be found in the article: " Vegans often eat unhealthily. Avoidable nutritional errors. "

Is peanut oil healthy or unhealthy? Compared to other oils, peanut oil has some positive properties (e.g. lower risk of cardiovascular disease). 6 However, these are offset by some negative aspects (e.g. no ALA, poor LA:ALA ratio). 2 Peanut oil is therefore neither "healthy" nor very "unhealthy". Since the negative aspects of oils outweigh the positive ones, regular consumption is not recommended. There are other oils that have more positive effects on health and fewer "disadvantages". These include cold-pressed linseed oil or cold-pressed rapeseed oil . For daily use, these or unprocessed nuts/seeds are preferable.

Dangers - Intolerances - Side effects

Aflatoxins can be found in unrefined peanut oils. Aflatoxins are mycotoxins (mold toxins) that are mainly found in grains and nuts and may have carcinogenic effects. The occurrence of aflatoxins in peanut oil depends on the quality of the peanuts and the production method. The toxins are found primarily in developing countries. In Germany and Austria, for example, none of the oils examined were affected. Refining reduces the risk of aflatoxins occurring in the end product. 11

Cold-pressed peanut oil can cause symptoms in a small percentage of people who are allergic to peanuts. However, people who are allergic can eat highly refined oil without any reaction. The reason for this is the lower content of protein residues in the oil, which act as an allergen. Although the residues are very small, they are enough to trigger a reaction. It has not yet been conclusively clarified whether people who are very allergic can also react to refined peanut oil. 12

According to a study from China, peanuts absorb pesticides that are still present in the oil after the oil has been pressed. The number of pesticides in peanut oil is lower than in peanuts, whereas the content of pesticide degradation products in the oil was higher. Different age groups were tested for health risks from the residues, with those under 18 being at increased risk. In principle, however, peanut oil is considered to be harmless. 16

Folk medicine - natural medicine

Peanut stems and leaves (PSL) appear to help against insomnia and inflammation according to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) . They have been used in China for around 600 years. However, PSL is no longer promoted because the material basis and mechanism of action are not clear. Studies have shown positive results that PSL extracts can act as a sleeping aid, but the exact mechanism of action remains unclear. 15

Ecological footprint - animal welfare

The average yield-based ecological footprint (CO 2 footprint) of peanut oil from China is 1.38 kg CO 2 eq/kg. When exporting from China, the CO 2 burden from transport must be added to this. The average nitrogen footprint of peanut oil from China is 28.23 g Neq/kg. 13 This generally describes the total amount of reactive nitrogen that enters the environment through human activity. 22 In comparison, the nitrogen footprint of a tomato is around 5.1 to 7.7 g Neq/kg. 23 Both the CO 2 footprint and the nitrogen footprint depend significantly on fertilizer production and application, which is why this is the best way to save CO 2 or nitrogen in peanut oil production in the future. 13 One study found that combined application of organic and chemical fertilizers significantly increased nodule nitrogen content, grain yield, mineral composition, oil yield, protein content and hydration coefficient of peanuts compared to chemical fertilizers alone. 34 Combined application would be a start.

The water footprint of peanuts in China, the main producer of peanut oil (see global occurrence), is 1750 L/kg. In addition to this, there is the water footprint of further processing, transport and packaging. 24 In comparison, the water footprint of rapeseed oil in a disposable glass bottle after complete production etc. is 800 L per kg. 25

Worldwide occurrence - cultivation

The peanut originally comes from South America, where it was cultivated between 2000 and 3000 BC. Today it is cultivated in more than 30 different countries around the world. The main producers are China, India, Nigeria and the USA. 4, 14 Together they account for around 65% of global production. Although peanuts have been cultivated for a very long time, their importance grew significantly in the last century. 14 In the middle of the 19th century, France, followed by other European countries, began to import peanuts to produce oil. 12

On average, oil is produced from more than half of the peanuts grown. However, there are strong fluctuations between the countries where peanuts are grown. In India, for example, oil is produced from around 75-80% of the peanuts, whereas in the USA only 10-12% is processed into oil. 12

Cultivation - Harvest

There are four main groups of peanuts. These are "Spanish", "Virginia bunch", "Virginia runner" and "Valencia". They differ in their branching, flowering and fruit formation. The flowers develop 25 to 35 days after planting, depending on the variety and ambient temperature. The flowers are self-fertile and wither after fertilization. 5 to 7 days after fertilization, the fertilized part of the plant penetrates 4 to 5 cm into the soil, begins to swell and forms 1 to 4 kernels, the peanuts, per pod. 1 7

You can tell when the mother plant is ready to harvest when it wilts and turns yellow. To harvest the peanuts, you lift the whole plant out of the ground and remove the soil. Then you dry it. 21

Industrial production

There are various ways to produce peanut oil. These include hot and cold pressing as well as solvent extraction . Before further processing peanuts, they are cleaned, peeled, sorted and dried. 18

For cold pressing , the peanuts are first placed in a tank for processing. Here, the pressing temperature and humidity are adjusted to improve the oil yield. A twin-screw press is used for extraction, which presses out the oil at below 60 °C. A frame pressure filter is then used, which presses and filters three more times at below 30 °C. This produces cold-pressed peanut oil. 4 Thermal processing is often carried out before pressing, with the optimum temperature being 70 °C. 18 If this pre-treatment takes place, the raw character of the peanut is lost and the oil is no longer considered cold-pressed in Switzerland, for example. (see cold-pressed oils (laws)).

Regardless of the production method, the oil can be refined after extraction. The main purpose of refining is to remove certain components of the oil such as free fatty acids, pigments, sterols, etc., which affect the taste and oxidation stability of the oil. 7 Refining also reduces possible aflatoxin contamination. 11 Refined oils are, among other things, more durable, more heat-resistant and more neutral in taste. In return, however, they contain less vitamin E or fat-related substances such as phytosterols, carotenoids, etc. than cold-pressed oils. 19

In traditional (chemical) refining, the first step is to degumming the peanut oil using steam, hot water or acid, which separates the phospholipids, plant mucilage and turbidity. The next step is neutralization/deacidification. Here, caustic soda and water are added to the oil. The aim is to remove the free fatty acids, which have a harsh taste. This is followed by bleaching. This reduces the content of natural colorants. The last step is deodorization, where unwanted odors and flavors are removed. 19,33 Between neutralization and bleaching, the oil can be washed and dehydrated. In addition to traditional refining, there is also enzymatic refining of peanut oil. This uses enzymes in the first step (degumming). 33

Further information

Peanut oil is produced from the seeds of the peanut ( Arachis hypogaea ). This belongs to the legume family (Fabaceae). Although the peanut could be classified as a nut due to its name, it is actually a legume. 14

Alternative names

Peanut oil is called peanut oil or groundnut oil. The drug name for virgin peanut oil is: Arachidis oleum virginale and for refined peanut oil: Arachidis oleum raffinatum.

Other uses

Peanut oil has been shown to have a moisturizing effect on human skin, which is why it is used in the cosmetics industry and can be found in soaps. 4 ,20 It can also be used as a massage or bath oil. Tropical peanut oil protects the skin from UV radiation. 20 Peanut oil is also used in animal feed or against pests ( S. zeamais ) of cereal crops. 12,33 Refined oil is a component of oil mixtures that are effective against eczema and other skin changes. 35