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Peanut butter, popular in many countries, is a food paste made primarily from ground dry roasted peanuts. The United States is a leading exporter of peanut butter and consumes $800 million worth annually. Nuts are also prepared comparably as nut butters.Peanut butter dates back to the Aztecs and the Incas.
Marcellus Gilmore Edson (February 7, 1849 – March 6, 1940) of Montreal, Quebec was the first to patent peanut butter, in 1884. Peanut flour already existed. His cooled product had "a consistency like that of butter, lard, or ointment" according to his patent application. He included the mixing of sugar into the paste so as to harden its consistency.
Edson, a chemist (pharmacist), developed the idea of peanut paste as a delicious and nutritious staple for people who could hardly chew on solid food, a not uncommon state back in those days. Peanut paste was initially sold for six cents per pound.
Edson was issued United States patent #306727 in 1884. The patent describes a process of milling roasted peanuts until the peanuts reached "a fluid or semi-fluid state".
John Harvey Kellogg was issued a patent for a "Process of Producing Alimentary Products" in 1898 and used peanuts, although he boiled the peanuts rather than roasting them. Kellogg served peanut butter to the patients at his Battle Creek Sanitarium. Other makers of modern peanut butter include George Bayle, a snack-food maker in St. Louis, Missouri, who was making peanut butter with roasted peanuts as early as 1894, and George Washington Carver, who is often mistakenly credited as the inventor due to his extensive work in cultivating peanut crops and disseminating recipes.
Early peanut-butter-making machines were developed by Joseph Lambert, who had worked at John Harvey Kellogg's Battle Creek Sanitarium, and Ambrose Straub.
January 24 is National Peanut Butter Day in the United States.Peanut butter is an excellent source (> 19% of the Daily Value, DV) of protein, dietary fiber, vitamin E, pantothenic acid, niacin and vitamin B6 (table, USDA National Nutrient Database). Also high in content are the dietary minerals manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and copper (table). Peanut butter is a good source (10–19% DV) of thiamin, iron and potassium (table).
Both crunchy/chunky and smooth peanut butter are sources of saturated (primarily palmitic acid) and unsaturated fats (primarily oleic and linoleic acids).
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