The American Peanut Council and U.S. peanut ingredient suppliers will be exhibiting at FiE 2023, which takes place during November 28-30 in Frankfurt, Germany. If you'd like to meet with us to discuss how peanut ingredients could enhance your product range, please visit us in Hall 3.1, on stand/booth K84 in the USA Pavilion.
AMERICAN PEANUT INGREDIENTS: A FORMULA FOR SUSTAINABLE SUCCESS
When you think of peanuts, do thoughts of snacking, spreads, baking, toppings, sauces, thickening agent, protein-rich meat alternative, savoury, sweet, confectionary and beverages come to mind? They should, because the US-grown peanut is a versatile, nutrient-rich and, above all, tasty ingredient in all of these things.
Premium quality, along with consistent flavour and texture, are the hallmarks of peanuts cultivated in the US. In a nutshell, peanuts are the perfect, satisfying, naturally packaged snack. But wait, there are more reasons to be nuts about them. Peanuts, peanut butter and their derivative ingredients offer many potential usage opportunities for the food manufacturing sector and pet food industry.
Delivering value as a complementary ingredient in multiple product applications and formulations, peanuts tick many boxes that are relevant for food manufacturers interested in developing on-trend products appealing to diverse and evolving consumer preferences. There are many ways to incorporate US-grown peanuts into formulations, as they are a:
- Healthy snack
- Plant protein
- Baking powerhouse
- Vegan and vegetarian-friendly option
Using peanut and peanut butter ingredients can help products bridge the gap between eating trends as they partner well with both meat ingredients (for instance in soups, stews, stir-frys and sauces) and plant-based, vegetarian and vegan products.
Three reasons to choose peanuts: delicious, nutritious and versatile
Delicious and nutritious, peanuts and peanut butter are versatile ingredients in beverages, sweet, savoury and healthy snack formulations. From protein shakes and smoothies, to baked goods and spreads, to mixed nuts and snacks, to chocolate and candy treats, to protein-rich vegan and vegetarian products, to soups and desserts, peanuts are multipurpose and affordable. Better yet, from a health perspective, peanuts and peanut butter pack a powerful nutritional punch:
- Peanuts are a recognized source of protein – containing the most of any nut
- Peanut butter, made with U.S.-grown peanuts has zero trans-fat
- Peanuts are recognized sources of essential vitamins, minerals and bioactive compounds that can help to keep us healthy.
- The nutritional composition of peanuts has been shown to have benefits for both heart and brain health.
Studies show peanuts and peanut butter can help improve memory, cognitive function and concentration, boost mood and support the prevention of Alzheimer’s.
U.S.-grown peanuts are an impressive source of plant-based protein
Peanuts are a nutrient dense source of plant protein containing predominantly unsaturated fat and fibre. They can be included in many food consumption trends, such as plant-based, and flexitarian lifestyles and for those who follow the Mediterranean, DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stopping Hypertension) or MIND (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) eating patterns. Their low-carb content also makes them a consideration for people who follow keto and low-carb lifestyles.
Peanuts are protein powerhouses, containing more protein than any other nut (roasted peanuts have 8 grams per 28-gram serving), which helps to build and repair muscles. They are an ideal ingredient in nutritious-based products and great in vegan and vegetarian products, too.
Form and function - peanuts pack both
It is hard to imagine something so small delivers on such a large scale. Peanut derivatives contain functional compounds (i.e., proteins, fibres, polyphenols, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals) that can be added as functional ingredients to many processed foods.
Peanuts contain many beneficial and bioactive components:
- Major nutrients (protein, high in amino acid arginine; soluble and insoluble fibre; predominantly unsaturated fatty acids with significant amounts of oleic acid and linoleic acid; complex carbohydrates with low glycaemic index/glycaemic load)
- Vitamins (including vitamin E, niacin, thiamine, folate, riboflavin, biotin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, and choline)
- Minerals (including magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, copper, iron, zinc and selenium)
- Antioxidants (including resveratrol. p-coumaric acid, phenolic acids and flavonoids, and phytosterols)
From peanut oil to peanut flour, to roasted peanuts, the health benefits of peanuts can be derived in various ways, furthering their value proposition as an attractive component in industrial food formulations.
Peanuts and peanut butter are central to nutritious and functional baking. As consumer demand for healthier, better-for-you products grows, innovative companies making products with functional health benefits will have an opportunity to increase sales.
Did you know, peanut flour is ideal in smoothies, soups, cookies and curries, and for coating meat and vegetable-based products?
Consumers' hunger grows for 'grab and go' health snacks
The ‘healthy food on the go’ snack category continues to grow as consumers’ appetite for better-for-you options appears insatiable. However, consumers are not willing to entirely forfeit flavour and indulgence for health. In fact, according to a Mintel report, ‘permissible indulgence’ is a concept that snack bar brands should embrace. Enter peanuts. Peanuts are ideal in ingredient formulations for snack and energy bars and other healthy snacks, as they pack flavour, protein, fibre and other bioactive properties that can aid in disease prevention. The key message for product developers and manufacturers is that peanuts are taste-good, feel-good ingredients.
According to Fortune Business Insights, the global healthy snacks market size is expected to reach USD $108.11 billion by 2027. As consumers seek nutrient-rich products in their quest to eat healthier, food manufacturers focused on healthy products stand to benefit.