Peanut oil

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A bottle of peanut oil, with Vitamin E added as a preservative

Peanut oil, also known as groundnut oil or arachis oil, is a mild-tasting vegetable oil derived from peanuts. The oil is available with a strong peanut flavor and aroma, analogous to sesame oil.[1][2]

It is often used in American, Chinese, South Asian and Southeast Asian cuisine, both for general cooking, and in the case of roasted oil, for added flavor.


Unrefined peanut oil has a smoke point of 320°F/160°c. [3] and is used as a flavorant for dishes akin to sesame oil. The refined peanut oil has a smoke point of 450°F/232c is commonly used for frying volume batches foods like french fries.[4]


Its major component fatty acids are oleic acid (46.8% as olein), linoleic acid (33.4% as linolein), and palmitic acid (10.0% as palmitin).[5] The oil also contains some stearic acid, arachidic acid, behenic acid, lignoceric acid and other fatty acids.[6]

Antioxidants such as vitamin E are sometimes added to improve the shelf life of the oil.[7]

Nutritional content

Peanut Oil
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 3,699 kJ (884 kcal)
0 g
100 g
Saturated 17 g
Monounsaturated 46 g
Polyunsaturated 32 g
0 g
Vitamin E
15.7 mg
0.01 mg
Other constituents
Cholesterol 0 mg
Selenium 0.0 mcg

Fat percentage can vary.
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database

According to the USDA data upon which the following table is based, 100 g of peanut oil contains 17.7 g of saturated fat, 48.3 g of monounsaturated fat, and 33.4 g of polyunsaturated fat.[5]

Comparison of dietary fats

Template:Comparison of cooking fats

Health issues


Highly refined peanut oil can contain traces of hexane, a petroleum byproduct used to maximize separation of oil from the solids of peanuts. The EPA identifies hexane as a neurotoxin in rat studies.[8][9] There are no specific regulations on the limits of hexane use in cooking oils. If quality control is neglected, peanuts that contain the mold that produces highly toxic aflatoxin can end up contaminating the oil derived from them.[10]

Medical considerations

Vitamin E is added as a preservative to refined peanut oil, which can be an issue for persons on blood-thinning medications, if consumed excessively.


Those allergic to peanuts can consume highly refined peanut oil, but should avoid first-press, organic oil.[11]

4 gallons of peanut oil

Most highly refined peanut oils remove the peanut allergens and have been shown to be safe for "the vast majority of peanut-allergic individuals".[12] However, cold-pressed peanut oils may not remove the allergens and thus could be highly dangerous to people with peanut allergy.[13]

Since the degree of processing for any particular product is often unclear, "avoidance is prudent."[14][15]


Shortage of whale oil in the Confederacy made peanut oil an attractive alternative during the American Civil War.[16] The oil had increased use in the United States during World War II, because of war shortages of other oils.[17]

Other uses

"Peanut oil will make medicine"

Peanut oil, as with other vegetable oils, can be used to make soap by the process of saponification.[18] The oil is safe for use as a massage oil. Peanut researcher George Washington Carver marketed a peanut massage oil.[19][20]


At the 1900 Paris Exhibition, the Otto Company, at the request of the French Government, demonstrated that peanut oil could be used as a source of fuel for the diesel engine; this was one of the earliest demonstrations of biodiesel technology.[21]

Suspension agent

Some medicines and vitamins use arachis oil as a suspension agent.[citation needed]


  1. Liu, Xiaojun; Jin, Qingzhe; Liu, Yuanfa; Huang, Jianhua; Wang, Xingguo; Mao, Wenyue; Wang, Shanshan (2011). "Changes in Volatile Compounds of Peanut Oil during the Roasting Process for Production of Aromatic Roasted Peanut Oil". Journal of Food Science. 76 (3): C404–12. PMID 21535807. doi:10.1111/j.1750-3841.2011.02073.x. 
  2. "USA-Grown Peanut Sources - Peanut Oil". National Peanut Board. 
  3. Healthiest Cooking Oil Chart Smoke Points
  4. The Smoke Point of Fats & Oils -
  5. 5.0 5.1 "USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference". Nutrient Data Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 3 August 2011.  Choose peanut oil and then "Oil, peanut, salad or cooking".
  6. Anyasor, G.N.; Ogunwenmo, K.O.; Oyelana, O.A.; Ajayi, D.; Dangana, J. (2009). "Chemical Analyses of Groundnut (Arachis hypogaea) Oil". Pakistan Journal of Nutrition. 8 (3): 269–272. doi:10.3923/pjn.2009.269.272. 
  7. Chu, Yan-Hwa; Hsu, Hsia-Fen (1999). "Effects of antioxidants on peanut oil stability". Food Chemistry. 66: 29–34. doi:10.1016/S0308-8146(98)00082-X. 
  8. Peanut Oil Extraction - Agico Group Official Website
  9. Hexane = EPA Report 09.2016
  10. "Aflatoxin suspected in cooking oil". United Press International. 29 December 2011. 
  11. Common Allergens - Peanut FARE (
  12. Crevel, R.W.R; Kerkhoff, M.A.T; Koning, M.M.G (2000). "Allergenicity of refined vegetable oils". Food and Chemical Toxicology. 38 (4): 385–93. PMID 10722892. doi:10.1016/S0278-6915(99)00158-1. 
  13. Hourihane, J. O'B; Bedwani, S. J; Dean, T. P; Warner, J. O (1997). "Randomised, double blind, crossover challenge study of allergenicity of peanut oils in subjects allergic to peanuts". BMJ. 314 (7087): 1084–8. PMC 2126478Freely accessible. PMID 9133891. doi:10.1136/bmj.314.7087.1084. 
  14. "Peanut Allergy". Food Allergy Initiative. Retrieved 3 August 2011. 
  15. Carlson, Margaret (13 January 2012). "Deaths Show Schools Need Power of the EpiPen: Margaret Carlson". Bloomberg. 
  16., 16 January, p.1., c.5
  17. "The Peanut Situation" (Dec 12, 1942) The Billboard
  18. "Saponification Table Plus The Characteristics of Oils in Soap", Soap Making Resource
  19. "Peanut Oil", Meridian Institute
  20. "Oil Treatment for the Hands Gaining Favor" (Jun 24, 1939) Spokane Daily Chronicle
  21. "Peanut Biodiesel". Boiled Peanut World. 2010. Retrieved 3 August 2011. 

External links