In English, Macadamia is also known as Queensland nut (Queensland nut). As its name indicates, it is native to Australia, where it is a staple food for the Aboriginal population. Macadamia was cultivated for the first time in 1930, in Hawaii, and has become the only plant of Australian origin that has acquired commercial importance. Currently, these trees, originally from an area that stretched from Queensland to New South Wales and grow at a height of 15 m, producing 8 to 15 ovaries per bunch, are cultivated worldwide and their nuts (expensive ) are sold all over the world. The most important centers for their culture are Australia, South Africa and the American state of Hawaii.
After they have been harvested, the extremely hard nuts (oil content = 78%) are broken using special machines, and then boiled or roasted (if oil is to be obtained) and processed again (eg. salt, if the nuts are for export). Currently, macadamia nuts are mostly sold since macadamia oil is (still) unpopular.
Cold-pressed macadamia oil is light yellow or golden in color, with characteristic odor and taste, while the refined product is a clear, almost colorless liquid, pale yellow and of low viscosity, with a characteristic odor and a mild taste. Macadamia oil covers a broad spectrum of fatty acid, from myristic acid to tetracosanoic acid, dominated by oleic acid (53-67%), palmitoleic acid (16-24%) and palmitic acid (8-10%). The eicosanoic, eicos-9-enoic-, docosanoic, erucic and tetracosanoic acids represent 1-3%. To date, macadamia oil has been used in the cosmetic industry (moisturizers, skin-regenerating ointments). Its high price means that it is rarely used as table oil to dress salads.