P.O.Box 11536 Arusha, Tanzania
info@shikomebiz.com
+255 (0) 629 123 488

Macadamia nuts

Product description

The origin of macadamia is Australia. The tree can reach a height of up to 20m. Grafted varieties take 3-4 years after planting to start producing while local varieties usually take 6-7 years.

Suitable Ecological Conditions

Macadamia are tropical trees hence do well in areas where they get full sunlight but sheltered from wind for healthy fruit production. The soil required should be deep and well drained, acidic to slightly acidic with a Ph level of 5-6.5. Rainfall should be between 800-1200mm per year. The ideal range of temperature is between 16-25C.

Historically, farmers planted macadamia trees to provide shade for coffee bushes that produce high-quality coffee; however, today, some coffee farmers have switched to farming macadamia nuts due to the fact that the price for the nuts has more than doubled so far in 2018.

Origin of our macadamia nuts

The macadamia farming has been introduced in Mbeya, Njombe and Songwe regions.

Tanzania has a very huge potential of being among the major exporters of macadamia nuts in the world due to its geographical location and the fact that macadamia grows well in all areas where coffee is doing well.

Macadamias can be produced successfully in areas where avocados, coffee, papayas, mangoes and bananas do well. Macadamia take three to four years to mature. A mature macadamia tree can produce over 300 kilos of nuts in a year.

Harvesting

A good tree can yield 45-90 kg nuts on average per year. Harvesting is usually by manual collection of the nuts from the ground or Picking from the crown picking the fruits that have cracked or turned brown. The husks are removed and the nuts are dried within 24 hours of harvest. Failure to do so initiates undesirable physiological activity, which causes fermentation and spoilage.

For the production of edible nuts it is important to dry the nuts from initial moisture content of 45% to between 5% – 1.5%. This is done by passing air through the nuts for a week, followed by an application of low heat (38 deg C – 54 deg C), for an additional 7-10 days (Cavaletto).

At a smaller scale nuts are placed 2-3 deep in trays that have good air circulation and these are left to dry for about 2-3 weeks (Rosengarten). If stored in bulk, respiratory activity results in increased temperatures and creates high relative humidity. In such conditions lipolysis and moulds become storage problems. The nuts should be stored in a rainproof shelter or drying shed (Rosengerten). Simple drying racks can be made from meshed wire.

Storage

Raw Macadamia Nuts Inshell is commonly stored in silos. And we recommend to our farmers to have a larger number of small silos than fewer larger ones. This allows nuts to be separated into different batches according to variety, storage time, humidity, etc. Silos should have adequate airflow and a bed depth lower than 3 m.

Raw Macadamia Kernels stability is related to moisture content and to oxidative rancidity. Exposure to moisture results in loss of crispness and shelf life whereas exposure to oxygen results in rancidity. Therefore, we normally protect the dry kernels from moisture and oxygen. Our packaging materials are impervious to moisture. Vacuum packing or nitrogen flushing offers protection from oxygen.

Cold storage is normally not necessary for short-term storage but required at <12 °C to maintain shelf life. When nuts have to be stored for long periods, they have to be maintained in as cool and dry conditions as possible.