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Thread: refrigerate natural peanut butter?

  1. #1
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    Question refrigerate natural peanut butter?

    Do you HAVE to refrigerate natural peanut butter once it's opened?

    I opened my first jar four days ago and it didn't say "refrigerate" on the label- so I didn't.

    Should I put it in the fridge now?

    It's Smuckers reduced fat if that makes a difference.

  2. #2
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    I don't always because we go through it pretty fast and it stays soft at room temperature. If it was going to take a few months to use it up, I'd probably refrigerate it.

  3. #3
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    Same kind I use and I keep it on a shelf in a cupboard. I used to refrigerate but it's so hard to stir it up when it's cold and I didn't want to have to wait forever till I could use it, so I started keeping it in the cupboard and, many many jars later, I am still here and healthy.
    ~ ~ Leslie ~ ~

  4. #4
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    I buy the Wild Oats brand of natural peanut butter and it is fine right from the refrigerator...occasionally it is dry when I am almost out but then I just leave it out of the frig the night before...I have crunchy pb on whole wheat toast almost every day.

    It seems like I used to have problems before I discovered Wild Oats brand, though. Their organic is even better this way (spreadability from the frig) but I just buy the organic when it's on sale.

  5. #5
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    I don't refrigerate mine either. it just gets hard that way.

  6. #6
    If you go through the peanut butter really fast, it's probably fine to leave it out. But the peanut oils will go rancid faster at room temperature -- so that's why it's recommended the butter be kept cold.

    We keep ours in the fridge UPSIDEDOWN. It seems to stay better emulsified that way (we generally mix it up once, and then it stays fine), and I don't have too much trouble with it getting super hard either.
    It's so beautifully arranged on the plate - you know someone's fingers have been all over it. --Julia Child
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  7. #7
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    We use freshly ground natural peanut butter, and have recently started storing it in the fridge. I was worried about it going rancid (no other ingredient but peanuts!) and it was actually TOO soft at room temp to avoid making a huge mess when spreading. Keeping it in the fridge works well, because it actually makes it a spreadable consistency.
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  8. #8
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    I had always heard that the only reason to refridgerate natural peanut butter was to keep it from seperating again. If the oils go rancid that quickly wouldn't you also refridgerate peanut oil? I've tried every brand my store sells and ended up with Krema because it stays spreadable in the fridge. Some of the others I tried turn to a hard paste (not unlike the stuff you ate in kindergarden ) when you refridgerate them.

  9. #9
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    Like Val, I store my natural peanut butter upside down in the fridge. I put it in upside down as soon as I buy it, and usually just have to give it a quick stir the first time I open it.

    Claire

  10. #10
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    FYI on lack of preservatives...

    Just wanted to let you know that any peanut butter that does not have preservatives can grow a specific mold that produces a carcinogen that can also be toxic. (I'm not trying to freak anyone out). So, it it is natural with preservatives, it probably doesn't matter. But if any peanut butter has no preservatives I would refrigerate it.

  11. #11
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    I, too, refrigerate my natural peanut butter after I've opened it and stirred it up, to keep it from separating again.

    Cheers,
    Phoebe

  12. #12
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    Back to say I found a great peanut butter mixer that really does the job with jars of even badly separated peanut butter. It's available at The Gadget Source and looks like this:



    Cheers,
    Phoebe

  13. #13
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    Re: FYI on lack of preservatives...

    Originally posted by mcgeiger
    Just wanted to let you know that any peanut butter that does not have preservatives can grow a specific mold that produces a carcinogen that can also be toxic. (I'm not trying to freak anyone out). So, it it is natural with preservatives, it probably doesn't matter. But if any peanut butter has no preservatives I would refrigerate it.
    You are thinking of aflatoxin and it occurs on the peanut in the ground, upon harvest. It is not a mold but a toxin and will not be "created" in the jar. If the peanuts used have it, the jarred will have it. If the peanuts from the ground don't have it, it will not occur in the jar.
    Thoreau said, 'A man is rich in proportion to the things he can leave alone.'

  14. #14
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    Clarification

    Peanuts on the ground grow Aspergillus flavus and other varieties of Aspergillus , ie molds. These are natural and common molds. In the right conditions these molds produce aflatoxins. Usually the roasting process of peanuts will kill the molds, but does not alter/get rid of the aflatoxin (which is both toxic and carcinogenic). Most of the major producers of peanut butter follow HAAPC (I may have mixed up the number of of which letters), a safety protocol, that includes testing and monitering and various stages of production for aflatoxins. Any product that is above the "safe" level is tossed. So, if you make your own, or buy from a small producer, the peanut butter MAY contain aflatoxins, as these products are not always tested, and seeing how easy it is just to store natural PB in the fridge (although it is kind of pain) I would rather be safe than sorry in regards to the infinetily small possibility there may be residual mold.

  15. #15
    Another related question: does natural peanut butter go rancid? Meaning, if I don't use it within a few months of storage in the fridge, should I tosss it?

  16. #16
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    Another related question: does natural peanut butter go rancid? Meaning, if I don't use it within a few months of storage in the fridge, should I tosss it?
    Keeping it the fridge should keep it good for a pretty long time, but it will go rancid in a few months at room temp. Just smell it - if it smells rancid, toss it, otherwise it's ok.

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