Newswise — CHICAGO— A high concentration of beneficial gut flora, called probiotics, may prevent foodborne illnesses caused by intestinal bacterial pathogens. A new study in the March issue of the Journal of Food Science, published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), found that white peanut kernel assists in improving human gut microflora as well as reducing foodborne bacterial pathogens such as Enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) and Salmonella.

In the peanut shell, there are two major portions, brown thin skin and white kernel. In the study, researchers from University of Maryland found that the kernel or kernel powder (also called peanut flour) has prebiotic-like effects. The findings of this study suggest the idea that people with vulnerable gut conditions may benefit from consuming peanut white kernel by stimulating growth of probiotics.

Further research is needed to assess whether the stimulation of probiotic growth with peanut kernel could reduce inflammation and colitis, and control gastrointestinal infections.

Read the Journal of Food Science abstract here

About IFTFounded in 1939, the Institute of Food Technologists is committed to advancing the science of food. Our non-profit scientific society—more than 17,000 members from more than 95 countries—brings together food scientists, technologists and related professionals from academia, government, and industry. For more information, please visit

Register for reporter access to contact details

Journal of Food Science