Facts with impact

The impressive benefits of NZ macadamias

 A preliminary analysis of Torere Macadamias has shown they have promising concentrations of three key nutrients – vitamin C, vitamin B6 and selenium – more than those grown overseas.

Picture of macadamia on a tree with the text: Torere Macadamias are higher in vitamin B6 which helps maintain a healthy metabolism

The analysis of six varieties of Torere Macadamias, funded by High-Value Nutrition (HVN), was conducted for inclusion in the New Zealand Food Composition Database, managed by Plant & Food Research and jointly owned by the Ministry of Health.

The analysis also shows that the vitamin B6 found in Torere Macadamias reached the concentration known to be good for a range of health benefits, including combatting tiredness and maintaining a healthy metabolism.

In addition to B6, several micro-nutrients are at concentrations shown to have positive health benefits including a good source of manganese for bone and joint health, a source of magnesium for bone, oral, brain and nervous system health, and dietary fibre for digestive health. Torere Macadamias were also found to be low in sodium and cholesterol, and free from trans fatty acids.

“Having high concentrations of nutrients known to be good for health allows companies to highlight these nutrients in the marketing of their products, giving them a way to stand out against competitors,” says Dr Carolyn Lister from Plant & Food Research.

Torere Macadamias will use the information to support expansion of their product range, and are planning to launch a new marketing campaign to maximise and highlight the high nutrient value of their macadamias.

“Torere Macadamias are reputably the biggest and best tasting in the world, and knowing more about them is useful for both consumers looking for healthy choices and for growers looking to potentially incorporate macadamias into their own orchards,” says Vanessa Hayes from Torere Macadamias. “This analysis of six of our best performing varieties, provides validation for these varieties being the base of New Zealand’s macadamia industry’s future growth, with an aim of 1,000 hectares by 2029.”

“It was important to HVN to fund this work and support an emerging industry in New Zealand,” says Joanne Todd, Director of High-Value Nutrition. “The research has the potential to give New Zealand-grown macadamias a competitive advantage.”

The case of Torere Macadamias is another example of the powerful insights that can be uncovered with further investigation into Aotearoa’s food. With more funding, we could continue our work to give other locally-grown food an edge overseas, driving exports and boosting our economy.