Keeping peanut skins in the mix boosts nutrition, researchers find

by Mick Kulikowski
Choosy Mothers Choose Skin? One Way to Make Peanut Products Healthier
Peanut skins are good for you. And in low concentrations, they don’t taste bad, either. Credit: USDA

(Medical Xpress)—Peanuts taste good and are good for you. But a new NC State study shows that putting a bit of skin in the game can make peanut products even healthier while keeping them flavorful.

Dr. Tim Sanders and doctoral student Chellani Hathorn show that adding small amounts of peanut skin to products like peanut butter and peanut paste increase the nutritional value and antioxidant capacity of the products while only subtly changing the taste.

In a study published in the October issue of the , Sanders and Hathorn added varying amounts of peanut skin – from 0.5 percent to 20 percent concentrations – to peanut pastes and butters, testing the products' antioxidant capacity and flavor along the way. The researchers found that at lighter concentrations of 5 percent or less, the antioxidant capacity increased when compared with skinless , and that tasters didn't seem to mind a greater "woody" flavor.

At concentrations of 10 percent or more, however, antioxidant capacities continued to increase, but the rebelled: Tasters reported more negative flavor attributes, like bitterness, when eating peanut products composed of 10 and 20 percent skin.

Peanut skins, the seed coat comprising about 3 percent of a peanut seed, don't get much respect in the food world. Formed as a result of peanut blanching and roasting, skins are normally removed before peanuts are processed into a jar of your favorite peanut butter. Yet these skins are high in , meaning they have antioxidant properties. Studies on antioxidants suggest they may protect against oxidative stress, which has been implicated in a number of diseases and cancers in humans.

Does the peanut-eating public have the stomach to handle some skin in their Skippy? Sanders and Hathorn point to this study and say that keeping skin concentrations low – 5 percent or less – could increase the and maintain peanut product palatability.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Roasting Does More than Enhance Flavor in Peanuts

Dec 09, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists have shown that increasing roast color intensity steadily ramps up the antioxidant capacities of peanuts, peanut flour and peanut skins.

Peanut allergies overstated, study finds

May 16, 2007

Despite hundreds of families being told their children have peanut allergies every year, many of the children may be able to eat peanuts safely, a study by researchers at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and Sydney ...

Recommended for you

Running really can keep you young, study says

2 hours ago

If you are an active senior who wants to stay younger, keep on running. A new study involving the University of Colorado Boulder and Humboldt State University shows that senior citizens who run several times ...

The American athletics track is still a man's world

2 hours ago

The limited coverage that American female athletes get in the media is one of many subtle forms of gender biases they have to cope with. The little exposure they do get often focuses more on their attire, or how attractive, ...

How do teenage boys perceive their weight?

5 hours ago

Almost one third of male adolescents inaccurately perceive their weight. This can influence their eating habits and, consequently, their health, according to a study led by the UAB and conducted with 600 teenage boys from ...

Cold front sparks dangerous use of space heaters

5 hours ago

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that more than 25,000 residential fires and more than 300 deaths are caused each year by space heaters. More than 6,000 Americans receive hospital emergency room care ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.