Macadamia nuts - good fats, bad fats, and biofortification
Macadamia nut kernels are high in oil, of which the majority is mono-unsaturated and considered to be beneficial for cardiovascular disease (CVD). In particular, macadamias are unusually high in the omega-7 fatty acid, palmitoleic acid, which has been linked to the amelioration of both CVD and additional metabolic disorders. At the same time, macadamia oil has a significant proportion of saturated fat, which is considered to be detrimental to cardiovascular health. Although this level is relatively low compared to the 'good' mono-unsaturated fats present, its concentration is marginally high enough to affect US and Australian label health claims. In order to remove this restriction, a slight reduction of saturated fat concentration would be required in macadamia nuts. A potential way to achieve this is to identify macadamia lines with increased capability of desaturating palmitic acid (saturated) to palmitoleic acid (mono-unsaturated). The current paper summarizes an exploration of fatty acid profiles in existing commercial cultivars of macadamias, wild macadamia accessions and related Macadamia species, and factors that may influence the fatty acid profile.
O¿Hare, T.J., Hong, H.T., Pun, S., Liu, D., Torrisi, C., Mai, T., Alam, M., Russell, D. and Topp, B. (2020). Macadamia nuts - good fats, bad fats, and biofortification. Acta Hortic. 1292, 377-382
omega 7, palmitoleic acid, saturated fat, fatty acid, cardiovascular disease, oil, health claims