Jeff Koeze's Blog Good Food, Good Business, and the Good Food Business

19Oct/090

Why Your “Fresh” Peanut Butter Probably Isn’t

Koeze's Cream-Nut Natural and Sweet Ella's Organic peanut butters compete directly with the grind-it-yourself machines in grocery stores and health food stores, and with peanut butter that people grind in their own homes.  Often when we are doing a store demo someone will say, "No, thanks, I grind peanut butter myself. It's fresher."

I doubt  it.  Once peanuts are roasted, they begin to go stale very quickly.  How quickly?  We won't even store peanuts over a weekend without grinding them into butter and putting them in jars. We rarely even hold them overnight.

Staleness in nuts is the result of two related processes.  The first is that the nuts absorb moisture from the air , which makes the nuts soft.  The second is oxidation of the oils - otherwise known as rancidity.  How quickly nuts become rancid is determined by temperature, moisture content, and the amount of oxygen available.  Effective packaging and cool temperature storage can retard but not halt that process in roasted peanuts.

Freshness in peanut butter has nothing to do with how recently the peanuts were ground.  It has to do with how recently they were roasted, and how they have been handled since then.  Unless your store (or you) are roasting peanuts daily and using them all up each day in the self-grind machine, your peanut butter is not fresher than ours (and, I"ll add, the peanuts that stores start with probably aren't as good to begin with).

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