In the 1850’s these trees were noticed by a British botanist Ferdinand Von Meuller and Walter Hill, the Director of the Botanical Gardens of Brisbane, Australia. The two men were struck with the majestic beauty of the specimens found growing in the rain forests of Queensland. A distinction was made between Macadamia integrifolia (smooth shelled) and Macadamia tetraphylla (rough shelled) which also produces a nut that is edible, although not as good for roasting as Macadamia integrifolia. The genus Macadamia was named after a prominent scientist of that time, Dr John McAdam.
The nature of the South African macadamia industry is such that it requires a significant level of professional skill amongst growers, processors and marketers. The importance of the industry to the economy in terms of its contribution to local employment and investment as well as domestic and export markets cannot be overstated. At harvest the nuts have a moisture content of up to 30%. Drying can take up to three weeks and reduces the moisture content to around 1.5%.
Careful drying and curing is a critical step in Macadamia processing to maximize shelf life and quality of the end product. The kernel shrinks away from the inside of the shell and allows the shells to be cracked without damaging the kernel.
Processing of macadamia nuts began slowly with early enthusiasts cracking the nuts by hand. Modern machines have been developed to crack the tough shell of the macadamia without damaging the precious kernel within. These machines have either a fixed blade and cutting blade, or a combination of rollers and a base plate to compress the shell.
State of the Art Color Sorter
The Genius constitutes a formidable contribution to improving the final quality of our products and increases our competitive position on the international market. Professional service does not end when our customers have signed a contract, on the contrary, this is merely our starting point. After sizing the Macadamia kernels with a moisture content not exceeding 1.5% they are nitrogen flushed, vacuum sealed in laminated foil bags and packed into cartons, of nett weight 25lbs(11.34kg) or according to customer preferences. Stringent quality and hygiene control ensures that our customers consistently receive fresh premium quality macadamia nuts.
How are macadamias harvested?
In South Africa mostly by hand, but mechanization is becoming a reality.
Royal employs approximately 120 personnel from the rural areas, and training programmes etc. form an integral part of our policy and operations.