The Macadamia (Macademia integrifolia) tree, also known as bushnut, is an Australian native which is now cultivated in many countries across the globe for its delicious and nutrient packed nuts. Hawaii is currently the world’s second biggest producer. Despite different growing conditions, the Macadamia Oil pressed from the macadamia nut does not vary much in its fatty acid composition. Mature nuts contain at least 72% oil, the highest level of total oil of any nut.
Macadamia oil has the highest percentage of monounsaturated fats of any oil, even higher than Olive Oil and the lowest percentage of Omega-6 fatty acids among the culinary oils. It is also one of the highest plant derived sources of palmitoleic acid, an Omega-7 fatty acid normally found in fish oils. Macadamia Oil is approximately 60% oleic acid, 19% palmitoleic acid, 1-3% linoleic acid and 1-2% α-linolenic acid, plus smaller percentages of arachidic, stearic, myristic and gadoleic acids with trace amounts of lauric acid. It contains the antioxidants alpha-, beta-, and gamma-tocotrienols and squalene.
Macadamia Oil is golden in colour with a buttery flavour which does not disappear entirely when refined. The cold pressed variety has a long shelf life and does not require refrigeration, being very stable and full of antioxidants. It has a fairly high smoke point, higher than Olive Oil.
Macadamia Oil is a tasty addition to food, having cardiovascular, healthy cholesterol and anti-inflammatory benefits. The monounsaturated fatty acids in Macadamia Oil enhance the absorption of nutrients and the fat-soluble vitamins in other foods.
Macadamia Oil is extremely light weight and skin friendly. It has remarkable anti-aging benefits due to its high levels of palmitoleic acid and the presence of squalene, both of which occur naturally in skin but decline as we age. Palmitoleic acid is the most prominent fatty acid in sebum. It is our own natural moisturiser that supports skin in a number of ways by promoting cell regeneration and boosting collagen production. Squalene is an antioxidant present in human skin that prevents oxidative damage from UV rays. Macadamia Oil can help restructure, moisturise, tone and strengthen mature skin as well as balance oil production in overly oily skin. It is especially nourishing for dry, frizzy hair and dry scalps, restoring softness, health and shine.
Macadamia Oil is perfect for bringing new life to dry, mature skin and for protecting it from environmental toxins. It can be used neat or incorporated into moisturisers, lotions, eye creams, hand and body balms, lip products and massage oils. It can be added to shampoos and conditioners or used as a hot oil treatment to revive and hydrate damaged hair and mend split ends.
Macadamia Oil is still considered to be a gourmet oil but it is a great choice in the kitchen for its pleasant nutty taste, its nutritive values and its health benefits to heart, skin, hair and nails. It is a good substitute for Olive Oil and because of its higher smoke point, it is more versatile. It can be used for light frying, in salads and mayonnaise and for baking