Peanut oil is an all-rounder: It can not only be used in the kitchen, but also as a care product – and the oil also offers many health benefits.
Peanut oil can be used as cooking oil for cooking or frying. However, it can also be used for a variety of medical and cosmetic purposes.
The different ways of making peanut oil
There are three different ways to make peanut oil. The first option is cold pressing. The shells are first removed and the skin of the peanut is detached. The pressing of the finely chopped nuts takes place in a so-called screw press – and works without any heat input. Thereafter, no further processing of the oil takes place. This is to guarantee that all essential ingredients are preserved.
The second variant is distillation. Here the nuts are pressed and then the oil is extracted from the so-called press cake – the piece that remains after the first pressing.
The third way to obtain peanut oil is to make refined oil. Here the nuts are first roasted, then pressed and steamed at high heat – after which the oil is refined. Further processing of the oil removes unwanted substances and ensures that it becomes heat-resistant. However, many nutrients are lost in the process.
Which peanut oil to buy?
The highest quality oil is cold-pressed peanut oil. It contains the most active ingredients, is the healthiest, and also has the characteristic peanut taste. So if you want to benefit from the health benefits of the oil or use it to refine cold dishes, you should use cold-pressed oil.
The ingredients of peanut oil
The exact composition of the ingredients in peanut oil depends on several factors, including the regional conditions of peanut cultivation. Typically, peanut oil contains palmitic, linoleic, stearic, and oleic acids. The fatty acids behen, lignoceric, and arachidonic are also included. These have many positive effects for both internal and external use. The vitamin content in the oil is also important: peanut oil contains vitamins D, K, and B1. The proportion of vitamin E is particularly high: this is 23.4 milligrams per 100 milligrams of peanut oil.
Beneficial effects of peanut oil on health
Peanut oil has several health benefits. Its content of important omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins supports the immune system. The omega-3 fatty acids are also said to prevent cancer and counteract depression.
Applied externally, peanut oil nourishes the skin and hair and protects them from harmful external influences. As a care product, peanut oil can also be mixed with other oils and creams, such as shea butter, coconut oil, or tea tree oil.
Other positive effects of peanut oil:
- Due to its anti-inflammatory effect, it helps with skin diseases such as neurodermatitis, psoriasis, and itching
- The cholesterol level is regulated
- It alleviates indigestion and bladder infections
- When stressed, peanut oil has a calming effect – especially in combination with St. John’s wort oil
Peanut oil as a component of the kitchen
But peanut oil is not only a very popular additive for medical and cosmetic applications but also food. It can be used in cooking just like olive oil or sunflower oil. However, if you want to use it to prepare a wok dish, you should use a mixture of cold-pressed and refined peanut oil. In this way, the otherwise heat-sensitive oil can be heated to more than 160 degrees Celsius.
What to watch out for with peanut oil
If you want to buy peanut oil, an organic product from controlled cultivation is the best choice. There are a few factors that speak for a quality product. You should take a look at the ingredients: It is good if the oil contains palmitic, arachidic, and stearic acid. Proper storage should also be considered. If peanut oil is stored in a cool and dark place, its shelf life is up to two years. Unchilled, on the other hand, can only be enjoyed for a few months.