THE long-term viability, sustainability and stability of the macadamia industry is being enhanced on the back of growing demand for nut's singular oil.
Marquis Group marketing general manager Charles Cormack said while the oil was previously considered as a by-product of kernel processing, macadamia oil was now in high demand for cooking, as a food ingredient, flavouring additive, health supplement, and as a carrying agent for skincare products, aromatherapy and therapeutic oils.
"We are now seeing encouraging demand growth in most geographies and industry sectors, from the US and EU through to Asian markets," Mr Cormack said.
"Macadamia oil is a small but growing product range for the Marquis Group with year-on-year sales volume growing 109 per cent from 2020 to 2021, and with an average annual growth of 60pc between 2018 and 2021.
"Our objective is to work with food retailers and processors, and the cosmetics industry in Australia and globally, to help them understand the benefits of macadamia oil and encourage them to include it in their products.
"We are ready to work with them on product development and recently broadened our macadamia oil offering to include five different specifications of oil, from unrefined food grade through to 100pc refined cosmetic oil.
"We are now able to offer a tailor-made solution to meet any food, cosmetic or industrial application."
Mr Cormack said there was a significant premium associated with macadamia oil due to its relative scarcity.
"But we are confident that demand will continue to grow strongly as consumers learn about the unique qualities of this multipurpose oil," Mr Cormack said.
"Macadamia oil contains the highest percentage of monounsaturated fats, up to 84pc, when compared to both olive and canola oils, making macadamia oil healthier than most tree nut oils."
Another important characteristic is the oil's high smoke point of between 210 deg C and 234 deg C. An oil's smoke point is the temperature at which it starts to smoke and develop an unpleasant, bitter taste. This makes macadamia oil extremely versatile in the kitchen as both a cooking and salad oil.
Macadamia oil is also popular in cosmetic products because of its propensity to be absorbed by all skin types without leaving a greasy residue.
"Macadamia oil is also a sustainable substitute for other oils such as coconut and palm oil, commonly used in food and cosmetic products, with more manufacturers looking to include macadamia oil as part of their eco-friendly credentials," Mr Cormack said.
Macadamia oil is also a sustainable substitute for other oils such as coconut and palm oil... with more manufacturers looking to include macadamia oil as part of their eco-friendly credentials.- Charles Cormack, Marquis Group
"Not only does macadamia oil taste great and have a multitude of health and beauty benefits, but its sustainable production can also have positive impacts on the environment."
As strong advocates for the sustainable production of macadamias, Marquis Macadamias' facilities and growers are leaders in setting industry standards.
Last month, Hinkler Park Plantations, a 3000ha macadamia farm and shareholder of the Marquis group, based in Bundaberg, announced achieving total green house gas reduction and removal of 17,670 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent between 2020 and 2021 across its entire production system through carbon sequestration and cutting energy and fertiliser use.
This is the equivalent of offsetting the emissions from 4236 passenger vehicles for an entire year.
Marquis Macadamias ensures the whole nut is used in production. On farm, growers add the macadamia husk under trees to improve soil health and to compost mixes. When pruning, growers chip branches to use as mulch. All macadamia shell from the factories is used either as renewable fuel to provide energy to dry nut-in-shell or is milled into stockfeed.
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