Peanut Butter History and Fun Facts
“If you can’t control your peanut butter, you can’t expect to control your life.” – Bill Watterson, author of Calvin & Hobbes
- India is the second largest producer of peanuts in the world.
- January 24th is national peanut butter day in the United States.
- An 500 gram jar is made from around 850 peanuts.
- Peanuts aren’t nuts; they are legumes because they grow underground.
- Americans consume 700 million pounds every year; that’s over two pounds per person.
How Peanut Butter is Made
- Peanuts are shelled at a plant and the excess debris is separated.
- The peanuts are placed in a hot air roaster where the temperature is raised to 240 degrees Celsius turning them from white to light brown.
- The peanuts are quickly cooled to room temperature by suction fans that suck out the hot air.
- The peanuts are then placed in the blancher which removes the skin and the bitter “heart.”
- The shelled, roasted and blanched peanuts are then dropped into a grinder and reduced to a thick paste.
- The paste is heated to 60 degrees Celsius to be mixed and then is cooled down to 38 degrees Celsius before it is jarred.
The Early Years
- Native to South America, peanuts were discovered as early as 950 B.C. It is believed that the Aztec and Mayan civilizations mashed peanuts to create a thick paste.
- In 1884, Marcellus Edson of Canada issued U.S. patent #306727, representing the finished product created from milling roasted peanuts until they reached a fluid state. He used his product strictly to create peanut-based candy.
- In 1897, Dr. John Kelogg created the first process for making peanut butter, issued in U.S. patent #580787.
- George Washington Carver is known as the father of peanuts, but is often incorrectly believed to have invented peanut butter. He did, however, discover over 300 practical uses for the peanut.
- Monosaturated fat in peanut butter reduces the risk of heart disease.
- Vitamin B3 helps the body to convert food into fuel and metabolizes fats and protein.
- Vitamin B9 helps to synthesize and repair DNA and prevents anemia.
- Dietary fiber helps the body rid waste and helps prevent colorectal cancer.
- Reduces risk of weight gain.