Groundnut oil is obtained from peeled Arachis hypogaea L. seeds by pressing and extracting pre-pulverised, heat-treated and flaked groundnuts. The oil then undergoes a refining process.
It is suspected that the wild form of groundnut, which was first domesticated during the 3rd-2nd millennium B.C., in the Colombian Andes, originated in Brazil. It was first described by the Spaniard, Oviedo, in 1547. In the 16th century, it reached Africa, with the slave trade, subsequently finding its way as far as Indonesia.
The groundnut did not catch on in Europe until the 19th century. Today, it is cultivated in India, China, the southern USA, West Africa and South America.The groundnut plant cannot tolerate frost. After pollination, the inclined inflorescence grows into the ground, where the fruit develops within a period of two months. At harvest-time, the taproot is severed, the shoots are pulled up and the fruit is dried for 2-4 weeks. Seeds contain approx. 45% oil.
After refining, groundnut oil is a clear, yellowish liquid that sets at a temperature of approx. 2°C. The oil is rich in oleic and linoleic acids and is used primarily in France, where it enjoys popularity as an edible oil. Groundnut oil is also used in the production of margarine, soaps and paints. In Medicine, it is used as an excipient for the delivery of fat-soluble drugs. At spas, it is used as a massage oil, also, in hydrogenated form (hydrated groundnut oil) as an ointment base.There are also one or two applications for which crude (unrefined) groundnut oil may be used in the chemical industry.
INCI Name: Arachis Hypogaea Oil