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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Dawson, Georgia » National Peanut Research Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #274348

Research Project: Systems to Assess, Monitor, and Preserve Peanut Quality and Safety

Location: National Peanut Research Laboratory

Title: Peanuts and their nutritional aspects

Author
item Settaluri, V - New Mexico State University
item Kandala, Chari
item Sundaram, Jaya
item Puppala, Naveen - New Mexico State University

Submitted to: Journal of Food Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/1/2012
Publication Date: 4/1/2012
Citation: Settaluri, V.S., Kandala, C., Sundaram, J., Puppala, N. 2012. Peanuts and their nutritional aspects. Journal of Food Nutrition. 3:1644-1650. Available: http://www.SciRP.org/journal/fns.

Interpretive Summary: The nutritional importance of peanuts is due to the energy and growth supplementing constituents present in them. These include carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, vitamins, minerals, some organic acids and purines. It is estimated that as much as 30% of the population from many countries in the world are suffering from malnutrition. Peanuts, which are a rich source of protein and essential amino acids, can help in preventing malnutrition [4]. Moreover peanuts contain lipids and carbohydrates which are energy rich compounds, capable of complementing the basic energy demands of the human body. In this article the chemical composition of peanuts is reviewed and their importance as a useful source of nutrition is discussed. Peanuts are often referred as poor man’s protein but, when taken in adequate amounts in any form, will supplement rich nutrients to the body that can provide growth and energy, and play a vital role in the prevention of diseases. Metal ions which are cofactors for many enzymes, vitamins that are not synthesized in the body, poly unsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids that can act as a source of HDL cholesterol which is good for the heart, and essential amino acids that are not synthesized in the body but, are essential as building blocks of proteins and carbohydrates, which are the principle source of energy in the body, are all present in peanuts. A diet consisting of peanuts could provide all these vital nutrients, and play a critical role in preventing disease and promoting good health.

Technical Abstract: Peanut is a legume crop that belongs to the family of Fabaceae, genus Arachis, and botanically named as Arachis hypogaea. Peanuts are consumed in many forms such as boiled peanuts, peanut oil, peanut butter, roasted peanuts, and added peanut meal in snack food, energy bars and candies. Peanuts are considered as a vital source of nutrients. Nutrition plays an important role in growth and energy gain of living organisms. Peanuts are rich in calories and contain many nutrients, minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins that are essential for optimum health. All these biomolecules are essential for pumping vital nutrients into the human body for sustaining normal health. This paper presents an overview of the peanut composition in terms of the constituent biomolecules, and their biological functions. This paper also discusses about the relationship between consumption of peanuts and their effect on human metabolism and physiology. It highlights the usefulness of considering peanuts as an essential component in human diet considering its nutritional values.