Macadamia oil (or Macadamia nut oil) is the non-volatile oil expressed from the nut meat of the macadamia (Macadamia integrifolia) tree. Macadamia oil is sometimes used in food as a frying or salad oil, and in cosmetic formulations as an emollient or fragrance fixative.
Macadamia oil contains approximately 60% oleic acid, 19% palmitoleic acid, 2.8% Linoleic acid and 1% Linolenic acid. It also contains 3% omega-6 and 3% omega-3. Although macadamia is cultivated in many different parts of the world, the oil's fatty acid profile is not greatly influenced by environmental factors. The oil displays chemical properties typical of a vegetable triglyceride oil.
Macadamia oil is liquid at room temperature. The refined oil is clear, lightly amber-colored with a slightly nutty odour.
Uses in Food
Macadamia oil is an excellent frying oil due to its high heat capacity. Several properties of macadamia oil are particularly important for use as an edible oil:
- It contains up to 85% monounsaturated fats,
- has an unrefrigerated shelf life of one to two years, and
- a smoke point of 410°F.
Uses in Cosmetics
Macadamia oil's rich, cushiony skinfeel and high oxidative stability make it especially suitable for heavy creams and suncare formulations. Derivatives of Macadamia oil in cosmetics include the light emollient Ethyl Macadamiate and water soluble PEG-16 Macadamia Glycerides.
Macadamia oil is an excellent botanical replacement for mink oil in most applications.
Macadamia oil's INCI name is Macadamia Integrifolia Seed Oil.