Two new heart-healthy peanut varieties are expected to reach grocery shelves next year.
The varieties were developed by the US Agriculture Department and researchers at Texas A-and-M University. They contain extraordinarily high levels of oleic acid, which is a healthful monounsaturated fat. Such fats raise levels of good cholesterol and reduce the risk of clogged arteries, and they lower bad cholesterol that damages arteries.
One of the new varieties, the Olin, is a type of Spanish peanut. Those are often used to make candy and peanut butter, as well as salted nuts.
The other, the Tamrun OL 01, is a kind of runner peanut -- the type mostly used in peanut butter.
The new peanuts are resistant to a soil fungus that attacks the stems and pegs of the plant, causing them to rot.
Alabama ranks third in overall peanut production behind Georgia and Texas.
On the Net: USDA Agricultural Research Service: http://www.ars.usda.gov