Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Animal Science

First Advisor

Hanner, Tracy Dr.


.Peanut skin is a by-product of the peanut processing industry that is typically disposed. However, peanut skin contains significant amounts of protein, lipids, dietary fiber and is rich in antioxidants such as phenolics. The objectives of this study were to (1) evaluate the overall impact of peanut skin consumption on the growth of young lab rats; (2) investigate the effects of peanut skin consumption on blood plasma cholesterol profile in laboratory rats; and (3) evaluate the effect of peanut skin consumption on the functions of major animal organs by measuring the changes of related biomarkers and gross pathology. y. Twenty five 7-week old female Sprague Dawley rats were randomly assigned to one of five groups. Each group was fed one of five different diets for 8 weeks. The diets were: G1- standard Purina 5001 rodent diet; G2- Purina-5001 + 1% cholesterol; G3- Purina-5001 + 1% cholesterol and 2.5% peanut skin, G4- Purina-5001 + 1% cholesterol and 5.0% peanut skin; and G5- Purina-5001 + 1% cholesterol and 10.0% peanut skin. In each group, the rat’s average food consumption and total body weight were measured weekly. The hematological parameters and lipid profile of blood were evaluated biweekly using pooled blood samples. At the time of euthanasia, the gross pathology of rats was performed and the brain, liver, heart, lung, kidney, and spleen were weighed and visually checked for abnormalities. Results showed that rats in G2-G5 consumed more feed and gained more weight than rats in G1. Rats in G4 and G5 had lower triglycerides and total cholesterol than rats in G2. During the first few weeks, rats fed with the peanut skin diets xiii had higher LDL and lower HDL than rats in G2. However, this trend reversed after 5 weeks. Compared to G2, rats in G4 and G5 showed lower ALT, BUN and glucose levels, particularly at later feeding stages. Organs of rats in G2 were larger than the organs in other groups. This study suggests that long term consumption of diets containing  5% peanut skin may significantly lower the health risks associated with consuming a high cholesterol diet.