Many people wonder whether peanut butter and peanut paste are the name of the same food product. In fact, different articles offer different approaches to the assessment of these food products. We will therefore dispel any doubts about this.
Peanut paste, peanut spread, peanut cream or, finally, peanut butter are one and the same name for the same food product. Until a few years ago, producers used them interchangeably, perhaps in order to make their product more attractive and distinctive, giving it an individual, easily recognisable character.
So if you buy peanut paste, you will get the same healthy product without any suspicious additives as if you buy peanut butter.
Before buying such a product, it is worth checking its composition. The most important thing is that the product is free of additives such as palm oil. The most popular peanut butter is made from peanuts, but it can be made from many other types, such as pistachios or cashew nuts.
Why ‘paste’ and not ‘butter’?
The problems with the name ‘peanut butter’ stem directly from European Union legislation. This happened after the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union in Case C-422/16 of 14 June 2017 which reads:
“Products of purely vegetable origin may not, in principle, be marketed under names which, like the names ‘milk’, ‘cream’, ‘cheese’, ‘butter’ or ‘yoghurt’, are reserved by Union law for products of animal origin”.
A great deal of legal confusion ensued. Producers feared heavy fines or even the withdrawal of their products from shops. Therefore, the names on labels and in product descriptions on websites were changed. Since 2018, the use of the name peanut butter has been banned.
For this reason, manufacturers have had to start being quite creative in creating new names for their well-known products. Hence the popularity of terms such as peanut paste, peanut cream or peanut pulp. The production technology itself, however, has not been changed. A similar situation occurred with the phrase plant milk, which had to be changed to a plant-based drink.
Therefore, it is worth reiterating that peanut butter and peanut paste are the same product, with the same properties and taste.