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Thursday, 27 February 2020
Macadamia nut oil
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Macadamia nut oil is gained from the ripe seeds of Macadamia integrifolia which are agricultured for the manufacture of edible nuts. Macadamia integrifolia is the variety of Macadamia which is commercially most important. The INCI – mentioned Macadamia tetraphylla or –ternifolia are commercially not relevant.

The Macadamia nut is also known as the 'Queensland nut'. As this name suggests, it is native to Australia, where it is a staple dietary component for Aboriginal peoples. The Macadamia nut was first cultivated in 1930, on Hawaii, since which time it has become the only plant of Australian origin to acquire commercial significance. Nowadays, these trees, which came originally from an area extending from Queensland to New South Wales and which grow to a height of 15 m, producing 8-15 ovaries per raceme, are cultivated all round the world and the (expensive) nuts are on sale everywhere. Major centres for cultivation are Australia, South Africa and the American state of Hawaii.

After they have been harvested, the extremely hard nuts (oil content =78%) are broken up using special cracking machines, after which they are boiled or roasted (if oil is to be obtained) and reprocessed (e.g. salted, if the nuts are for export). Nowadays, it is mainly Macadamia nuts that are offered for sale, as Macadamia nut oil is (still) of little interest.

Cold-pressed Macadamia nut oil is clear and golden yellow, with a characteristic nutty smell and taste, whereas the refined product is a clear, almost colourless, pale yellow liquid of low viscosity, with a faint characteristic smell and a mild taste. Macadamia nut oil covers a broad fatty acid spectrum, from myristic to tetracosanoic acid, dominated by oleic acid (53-67%), palmitoleic acid (16-24%) and palmitic acid (8-10%). Eicosanoic, eicos-9-enoic-, docosanoic, erucic and tetracosanoic acid amount to 1-3%. To date, Macadamia nut oil has been used in the cosmetics industry (skin creams, regenerative skin ointments). The fairly high price means that it is rarely used as an edible oil, to enhance salads.

INCI Name: Macadamia Integrifolia Seed Oil




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