Earthoil’s macadamia nuts come from small-scale African farmers in the Kenyan highlands – often the rejected nuts from the food grade traders. This has assisted the small-scale farmers to establish a separate income stream not open to them previously, helping make macadamia nut farming a viable industry for these marginalised farmers.
Collection and oil production
The macadamia tree bears fruit during the whole year in several growing stages, and at the same time at certain periods of the year the branches also bear light pink coloured flowers with a delicate perfume. When ripe, the nuts, enveloped in a green, soft shell, fall to the ground. The nuts are collected in their shells at designated collection points and then transports them to its own facility, where the nuts are cracked and processed into cold-pressed oil. Pressing produces the vegetable oil containing vitamin E, mono (eg oleic acid, palmitoleic acid) and poly unsaturated fatty acids as well as saturated fatty acids such as palmitic acid. Earthoil has a large production capacity for cold pressed macadamia oil each year, making Earthoil a significant player in the macadamia oil market. We can supply both organic and conventional grades of this natural emollient.
After manufacture, nothing is left from the nut. The oil is used in natural cosmetics or by the food industry, and the nut mass – the by-product from the press (also called cake) – is used for animal feed. The shells produce energy for the factory, heating water and producing heat. Earthoil’s supply partner also takes care of its employees and their families, ensuing that their children are sent to school. A communal lunch, with dishes spiced with fresh coriander, ginger and garlic, is part of daily life at the factory. Most employees have worked there for many years, and have learned the production methods from the bottom up, developing into other roles as time passes and think of themselves as a big family.
Uses and benefits of macadamia oil
Macadamia nut oil has a fatty acid profile very similar to that of human sebum. It has good emollient and regenerating properties, is non greasy and has an ability to penetrate the epidermis of human skin. It contains one of the highest levels of Palmitoleic acid – or Omega 7 – which is known to soften and promote skin elasticity. It also has one of the highest levels of mono-unsaturated fats (85%) of all lipids and is oxidatively stable – making macadamia an extremely versatile oil and a desirable ingredient in cosmetics and skincare.
Contact Earthoil for more information
Earthoil specialises in smallholding producer projects in remote areas and can help you to access these communities and be part of their development.
Earthoil welcomes visitors to its projects and to meet the communities. Contact us for details.