Every part of the macadamia crop can be used. The outer husk is combined with other organic matter, making an excellent mulch around young trees. The hard shell sustains high temperatures when burning and is mostly used as a fuel for firing furnaces in local industries.
When the shell is ground to a fine powder the resulting granules are extremely hard. The powder can be used as an industrial abrasive and is superior to sand for sand blasting. It is even marketed by the cosmetics industry as the active ingredient in facial skin scrub.
Of course the main use for macadamia nuts is for food. As the kernel is sold in varying styles, from whole to small pieces, there is no waste. A percentage of the crop is cold-pressed to produce a superb salad and cooking oil.
The oil is notably superior to all other vegetable oils, such as olive oil, having the highest percentage of monounsaturated fats, a higher smoke point of 210¾c and is 100% pure.
Many uses for the Macadamia Nut
Macadamias are the world’s most nutritious nuts. They are a high energy food and contain no cholesterol.
Typical composition is 76% natural oils, 9% protein, 9% carbohydrate and 2% dietary fibre. The remainder contains the vitamins thiamine, riboflavin and niacin as well as essential elements calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, selenium and iron. The oil is rich in monosaturates considered to reduce the risk of heart disease.
The health benefits of the macadamia are now well documented and this combined with its unparalleled flavour delivers enormous growth potential for penetrating a competitive market.
In general, nuts are considered ‘fattening’, but tests conducted by the University of Newcastle and by researchers in the
United States have shown that a daily ‘dose’ of macadamia nuts lowers blood cholesterol levels and the type of fats present may even encourage weight loss.
The gourmet nut
More than any other nut in recent times, the macadamia has found its way into exciting new recipes. Always on the lookout for something new, the world’s chefs have embraced the Australian nut with enthusiasm.
There is a proliferation of cookies, cakes, confectionery, pastries, spreads, ice-creams and macadamias are also an ingredient in a host of brand foods.
Apart from its health benefits, the macadamia has many other attributes. It is an ideal compliment to both sweet and savoury foods, its mellow flavour blends easily with others and it is delicious hot or cold.
The quest to find new ways to use the macadamia has only just begun and its present status as the world’s best is a tribute to the pioneers of the industry and their faith in Australia’s fabulous bush nut.