We have invested $45,460 into an innovative project to determine what nutrient composition and health claims for peanut butter made from New Zealand grown peanuts can be made.

Pic’s Peanut Butter (Pic’s), who are a Nelson-based company, will collaborate with Plant & Food Research to supply samples of New Zealand peanuts for nutrient analysis from growing trials that are currently occurring this year, with support from the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund.

Plant & Food Research will analyse the nutritional composition of four samples of New Zealand grown peanuts, and four peanuts grown overseas in Brazil, Argentina, Australia and Nicaragua.. The composition will be assessed against Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) regulations that relate to nutrition, health and related claims.

“We are excited about the prospect of growing peanuts in Northland,” says Stuart Macintosh CEO Pic’s Peanut Butter. The Hi Oleic peanuts we import contain 30% more monounsaturated fats than regular peanuts which is similar to avocados and olive oil . We are hopeful that the new Hi Oleic cultivars sourced for the Northland trials this summer will be comparable with the possibility of some unique characteristics which will be determined Plant andFood nutritional composition analysis.

“This project fits directly with HVN’s mission of adding value to New Zealand food products via health claims,” says Joanne Todd, HVN Challenge Director. “It also fits with HVN’s strategies of starting with consumer preferences and validating nutritional knowledge of Aotearoa New Zealand horticultural products,” she says.

Pic’s supports economic growth and environmental sustainability through iwi and hapū relationships with the whenua. A key project collaborator is Te Roroa and the peanuts that will be evaluated as part of this study will come from a trial site that Plant & Food Research has established on iwi land at Omamari in the Kai Iwi lakes district.

The project also aligns with Kaipara District Council’s goals – Kaipara KickStart – which aims to improve opportunities for Māori land, including increased kai business opportunities in horticulture and aquaculture, and boost communities by realising the potential of the assets (natural, social, human and physical) bringing growth and development to the Kaipara district.

Plant & Food Research will work with Pic’s to further develop an understanding of nutrition and health claim regulations as well as the wider regulatory statutory labelling requirements.