The uses of groundnut

Originally groundnuts were considered to be food for animals; then they were used as food for slaves. They have now become an important source of protein in many developing countries.

Groundnut is rich in protein, oil and some vitamins and minerals. They are used in various forms, which include groundnut oil, roasted, and salted groundnut, boiled or raw groundnut or as paste popularly known as groundnut (or peanut) butter.

When cooked and pureed, thick rich groundnut sauce is an important feature of daily cooking, especially in West Africa. The tender leaves are used in certain parts of West Africa as a vegetable in soups. Being a grain legume, peanut has an important nutritional value for human beings, and its nutritional value has been exploited for combating malnutrition in children.

Groundnut oil is the most important product of the crop, which is used for both domestic and industrial purposes. When cooked and pureed, thick rich groundnut sauce is an important feature of daily cooking, especially in West Africa.

About two thirds of the world production of groundnuts is utilized as an edible oil, making it one of the world’s leading oil seed crops. In most of the developing countries kernels are used for oil extraction, food and as an ingredient in confectionery products. Following extraction, the residual cake is processed largely for animal feed, but is also used for human consumption.

Groundnut oil is the cheapest and most extensively used vegetable oil in India. It is used mainly for cooking, for margarine and vegetable ghee, salads, for deep-frying, for shortening in pastries and bread, for pharmaceutical and cosmetic products, as a lubricant and emulsion for insecticides and as a fuel for diesel engines. The press cake containing 40-50% protein is used mainly as a high-protein livestock feed and as a fertilizer.

Peanut is also used for feed through the valorization of oil cakes that represent an interesting source of proteins for livestock. In most Sahelian countries, groundnut straw is also used as dried hay and represents a major source for cattle feed during the dry season.

Groundnuts are also consumed whole as snacks, and in confectioneries and peanut butter. In this form, they are usually roasted before use. This accentuates the flavor which contributes to consumer acceptance.
The uses of groundnut

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