26. In praise of Ground-nut Cake

[A friend sends the following opinion of Prof. D. L. Sahasrabuddhe, in praise of ground-nut cake. It certainly deserves a trial.

- M. K. G.]

There is a good deal of preaching done to encourage the use of soya beans as a food material, while ground-nut which is extensively grown in India is not given the consideration it deserves. Groundnut is a very valuable oilseed and food material. Ground-nut itself is not easy for digestion and many times causes digestive disturbances. This is, however, due to the presence of a very high proportion of oil - 50 per cent. If the oil is extracted from well-cleaned seed, the oilcake left behind is a highly nutritious food material for human consumption and does not cause any trouble. The following is the average analysis of ground-nut cake and soya beans:

  Ground-nut cake per cent Soya beans per cent
Moisture 8 8
Proteids 49 43
Carbohydrates 24 19.5
Fat 10 20
Fibre 4 5
Mineral matter 5 4.5

The ground-nut cake compares very favourably with the soya beans. It is actually better than soya beans in the essential constituents. namely the proteids and the mineral matter. Further, the ground-nut proteid is better than soya bean proteid in essential amino-acid as shown by the following figures:

Essential Ground-nut proteids Soya bean proteids
Amino acids per cent per cent
Tyrodine 5.5 1.86
Agrinine 13.5 5.12
Histidine 1.88 1.39
Lysine 5.50 2.71
Eystine 0.85 -

If at all any biliousness is caused by ground-nut cake, use of a small quantity of jaggery or a little soda-bi-carb will be a good preventive.

The ground-nut cake has a very good taste and its keeping quality can be improved by heating and keeping the cake in a properly closed vessel.

Sweets and ordinary articles of food can be prepared from ground-nut cake. Attempts must, therefore, be made to spread the knowledge about the usefulness of ground-nut cake. It is certainly equal to and even better than soya beans.

Harijan, 14-12-1935