You heard it right – peanut oil; Many people don’t know you can source oil from peanuts. Today’s article will discuss the science behind this unique type of oil and figure out the frequently-asked question — is peanut oil a seed oil? Or something else?
- What Type of Oil is Peanut Oil?
- Peanut Oil – What Kind Of Oil Is It?
- How Is Peanut Oil Made?
- Seed Oils vs Fruit Oils
- Peanut Oil vs Other Seed Oils
- Health Benefits of Peanut Oil
- Key Takeaways
- What is the difference between seed oil and fruit oil?
- How is peanut oil produced, and what makes it different from seed oils?
- What are the health benefits of peanut oil compared to seed oils?
- Can peanut oil be used as a substitute for seed oils in cooking?
- What are the best ways to incorporate peanut oil into a healthy diet?
- Other Oil Classifications
What Type of Oil is Peanut Oil?
Peanut oil is made from the edible seeds of the peanut plant, so it is classed as a seed oil.
Peanut Oil – What Kind Of Oil Is It?
Peanut oil is a seed oil since it’s made from the edible seeds of the peanut plant. It’s also referred to as groundnut or arachis oil. Peanut oil is widely used worldwide, particularly in Asian cooking. It was used in the United States during World War II when food shortages made dairy and other oils scarce.
There are several different types of peanut oil. Each one is made using different techniques and can be used for a variety of purposes:
- Refined peanut oil – Refined peanut oil is commonly used in U.S. fast food chains to fry foods like chicken and french fries. It’s refined, bleached, and deodorized to remove the oil’s allergenic parts, making it safer for people with peanut allergies.
- Cold-pressed peanut oil – Cold-pressed groundnut oil has zero cholesterol and contains natural, plant-based sterols, which support good heart health. The low-heat process retains much of the natural peanut flavor and more nutrients than refining.
- Gourmet peanut oil – Gourmet peanut oil is a specialty oil with a deeper and stronger nutty flavor and aroma since it’s unrefined and roasted.
- Peanut oil blends – Peanut oil is sometimes blended with inexpensive oils, like soybean oil, to make them more affordable and is usually sold in bulk for frying foods.
Peanut oil can have many flavors depending on how it’s processed; it can range from mild and sweet to strong and nutty.
How Is Peanut Oil Made?
Groundnuts undergo the following processes to extract their oil content. Following is the groundnut oil extraction process:
- Cleaning – The peanuts are cleaned using a cleaning machine to get rid of contaminants.
- Dehulling – The nuts are dehulled before pressing, which helps reduce the absorption of oil by the shell and yields more oil.
- Cooking/Heating – The cooking process breaks the cell walls, opens up cells to release the oil, and lessens oil thickness to let it flow easily. When pressing is done without heat, it results in cold press oil.
- Pressing – Pressing generates heat to make the oil less viscous, allowing more oil flow.
- Refining/Filtration – The extracted oil may still have impurities after pressing. An oil press machine with filtration systems purifies and removes particles and water from the oil.
Seed Oils vs Fruit Oils
Seed oils differ from fruit oils since they are extracted from the fruit/vegetable’s seed/kernel, while fruit oils are sourced from the fruit’s content. Other commonly used seed oils include soybean, sunflower, and sesame.
Peanut Oil vs Other Seed Oils
Peanut oil is most similar to other seed oils like soybean, canola, and sesame regarding calorie content and composition, but it’s richer in monounsaturated fatty acids and Omega-6 fatty acid content, which makes them healthier. It also has a higher smoke point than most seed oils.
Unlike most seed oils, peanut oil processes involve both mechanical and chemical.
Health Benefits of Peanut Oil
Refined and unrefined peanut oils are naturally trans-fat-free and low in saturated fats. Studies show that peanut oils are a rich source of vitamin E, antioxidants, and phytosterols, which benefit heart health and have been found to protect against cancers. Additional research shows that it lowers cholesterol levels and might also help reduce fat buildup in blood vessels.
Other important health benefits include:
- Aids in weight loss
- Has anti-aging properties
- Has anti-inflammatory properties
- Helps prevent cardiovascular problems
- Beautifies the skin
- Peanut oil is made from the edible seeds of the peanut plant, so it is classed as a seed oil.
- There are four kinds of peanut oil – refined, cold-pressed, gourmet, and peanut oil blends.
- Peanut oil processes involve both mechanical and chemical.
- Peanut oil is rich in antioxidants and monounsaturated fatty acids and offers many health benefits.
What is the difference between seed oil and fruit oil?
Seed oils are sourced from the fruit/vegetable’s seed/kernel, while fruit oils are sourced from the fruit itself.
How is peanut oil produced, and what makes it different from seed oils?
The harvesting process of peanut oil involves both mechanical/physical and chemical, compared to seed oils which are mostly chemical.
What are the health benefits of peanut oil compared to seed oils?
While its composition is similar to most seed oils, peanut oil is richer in monounsaturated fatty acids and Omega-6 fatty acid content. It also has a higher smoke point.
Can peanut oil be used as a substitute for seed oils in cooking?
Peanut oils are commonly used in Asian cuisines and used as a frying oil in US fast food chains.
What are the best ways to incorporate peanut oil into a healthy diet?
Peanut oil is a heart-smart alternative to most cooking oils but should still be consumed in moderation.
Peanut oil is a popular oil used around the world. Compared to commonly-used seed oils, it’s a healthier substitute rich in antioxidants and good cholesterol, which are good for one’s health. There are different kinds of peanut oil, which have varying flavor palettes that suit different cooking purposes.
Yet, while peanut oil may have benefits, it is still best to consume it in moderation to prevent health problems.