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Filtered groundnut or peanut oil has been used in India since generations. Refining of oil was introduced in the 1950s; the first refined groundnut oil was called "Sipahi" but it gained popularity under the brand name "Postman".
Peanut oil is supposedly less refined than other oils in order to retain some of the peanut protein for taste and nutrition. Hence, peanut oil generally retains the aroma and flavour of peanuts to an extent.
It also has a high smoke point compared to other oils, and is hence used commonly for frying foods like French fries.
Its major component fatty acids are palmitic acid, oleic acid, and linoleic acid. The oil also contains six to eight per cent (total) of arachidic acid, arachidonic acid, behenic acid, lignoceric acid and other fatty acids.
How to Select
• Peanut oil is readily available at grocery stores.
• Choose a good brand, read the labels for nutrition information, and then purchase.
• Make sure the package has no leaks.
• Check the use-by date before buying.
• Groundnut oil is generally used for it for its slightly 'nutty' flavour and taste.
• It has a relatively neutral flavour and is a very stable cooking medium compared to other cold-pressed oils.
• Due to its stability, it is used for deep frying, sautéing and also to make dressings.
• This oil is suitable for all types of cooking including frying, grilling, sautéing, seasoning and tempering.
• Quite popular in Indian cooking, groundnut oil is also accepted in Chinese cuisine.
How to Store
• Store in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
• Groundnut oil contains heart-friendly MUFA that lowers the levels of bad cholesterol in our body without lowering the levels of good cholesterol.
• Regular consumption of these nuts actually reduces heart disease. It also provides protection against cancer, obesity and Type II diabetes.
• Groundnut oil being high in mono-unsaturated fats is more stable and usually does not require artificial additives.
• Groundnut oil also contains natural antioxidants like tocopherol and tocotrionols as well as sterols, which are of nutritional importance.