“Improved by Hydrogenation”
This chapter charts the history of the Peter Pan brand of peanut butter and the hydrogenation process. The 1920s saw progress in the peanut butter industry with the introduction of hydrogenation. Hydrogenation raises the melting point of peanut oil so that it is solid at room temperature, preventing it from separating from the peanut solids. This is why peanut butter with hydrogenated oil doesn't need to be refrigerated. Joseph Rosefield of Alameda, California is widely acknowledged for the first patent to hydrogenate peanut butter. But it was Pittsburgh inventor Frank Stockton who filed a patent for hydrogenating peanut butter on March 17, 1921—almost three weeks before Rosefield. Peter Pan is ordinarily credited as the first hydrogenated peanut butter, but that's not accurate; credit goes to Heinz, whose hydrogenation pedigree dates to 1923.
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