Finding new uses for peanuts is becoming a priority for the industry and Dr. Marshall Lamb, USDA-ARS National Peanut Research Lab, says a recent symposium explored some of the possibilities, such as high-oleic peanuts.
“Scientists are proving that we can add high oleic peanuts into the diets of poultry and actually see the benefits in the final product to the consumer, which is a more heart-healthy egg,” said Dr. Lamb.
Lamb says another opportunity for peanuts is sustainable aviation fuel. “Peanut oil is very suitable for conversion into a jet fuel…to be able to get into that market would be a further use for peanuts and peanut oil in the future,” he said.
University of Georgia peanut breeder Dr. Nino Brown says they are developing varieties for both the high oleic and normal oleic peanut market.
“The high-oleic acid concentration gives it much longer shelf life, so it’s really good for candy bars,” said Dr. Brown. “Whereas a normal oleic peanut is required for the peanut butter industry.”
Dr. Brown says they are also developing peanuts with higher oil content for the fuel market, and he says it takes about ten years for a new peanut variety gets to market.