A few weeks ago when the Peanut Butter thread was going strong, I posted
the following message but it didn't make it to the list. Since the topic
has come up again, I thought I would try again:
According to the labels on peanut butter, they are
approximately 50% fat. Peanuts themselves are the
same. According to the information I have, the
manufacturers of peanut butter remove peanut oil
(which they can sell as a higher priced product than
soybean oil) and then add hydrogenated soybean or
other oil to bring it back to the original 50% fat.
Sugar and/or other sweeteners are also added. They add
hydrogenated oil (which solidifies it) so the oil
doesn't separate out of the peanut butter.
Back in my teaching days, I had students extract all
the oil out of peanut butter. What remains is a very
fine powder. I'm sure somebody could do something to
make a spread with it but I don't know if it would
satisfy the craving for "real" peanut butter.