From when the macadamias are harvested, through to when they are dry roasted and flavoured, we ensure the macadamia nut arrives in the best condition possible for processing.
Suncoast Gold sources most of their macadamia nuts from company owned farms, located in the rainforest regions of Australia.
Growing and Processing
With Australia being the native home of the macadamia nut, having world class macadamia nut processing facilities and farming methods, Suncoast Gold sources the highest standard of macadamia nuts possible.
It can take 10 to 15 years before a macadamia tree reaches maturity and maximum yield. Mature trees grown to heights of between 12 and 15 metres and have shiny dark green leaves.
Optimum growth occurs between 20-25 degrees Celsius, which explains why most of the macadamia farms are located in the sub-tropical climates of northern New South Wales and south-eastern Queensland.
Flowering occurs in early spring, with nuts forming in early summer and by early autumn clusters of plump green nuts appear. Each macadamia spray of 40-50 flowers produces 4 to 15 nutlets, which eventually ripen into nuts.
Nuts grow encased in a hard, woody shell, which is protected by a green-brown fibrous husk. Shell hardening takes place in December followed by a rapid oil accumulation by late December and January.
Between March and September, the mature nut fall to the ground and are harvested regularly with purpose built harvesters. The fibrous outer husk of the macadamia is removed within 24 hours of harvest to reduce heat respiration and facilitate drying. The husk material is usually recycled as organic mulch.
Careful drying is a critical step in macadamia processing to maximise quality of the end product. At harvest the nuts have a moisture content of up to 30%. Drying can take up to three weeks and reduce the moisture content to around 1.5%. The kernel shrinks away from the inside of the shell and allows the shells to be cracked without damaging the kernel.
Cracking machines have been developed to crack the tough shell of the macadamia without damaging the kernel inside.
Suncoast Gold uses macadamias, which are packed into foil air-tight bags once they are cracked, to maintain their freshness and to avoid exposure to oxygen which can start the rancidity process. We store the macadamia nuts in dry temperature controlled conditions before, during and after processing, to protect the product from the impacts of climate, before it leaves our warehouse for customer’s shelves.
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