How Our Macadamia Nuts Are Grown
1. Macadamia Nut Orchard
Our macadamia nuts come from orchards all over the historic Hamakua Coast. Some are not far from where the very first tree in Hawaii was planted in the 1880’s!
2. Macadamia Nut Tree
Macadamia nut trees can be fairly large once they reach full growth. There are several different varieties planted here on the Big Island and each variety varies in shape, size, leaf structure, and even the size of the nuts.
3. Macadamia Flowers
Macadamia nut flowers grow in beautiful long white clusters 6-12” long, called racemes.
4. Immature Nut Cluster
We get excited when we start to see these little green keiki macadamia nuts. The green outer layer is called the husk. Inside is a brown hard shell layer that protects the kernel within it.
5. Harvest Time
Macadamia nuts naturally drop from the tree when mature. The husk also splits and turns brown. It is important to harvest them as soon as possible for freshness and to minimize spoilage. The nuts are harvested by hand and by machines.
6. Nuts in Husk
Harvested macadamia nuts ready to have the husk removed.
This dehusking machine removes the outer husk before the remaining nut-in-shell gets dried and cracked.
8. Macadamia Nuts in Shell
Here are macadamia nuts with the outer husk removed, ready to be dried and cracked.
We use this huge “stadium” dryer that blows a steady flow of warm air up through the nuts to dry them down to a safe storage moisture and to allow for easier cracking.
Let’s get cracking! It takes 300 pounds of pressure to crack a macadamia nut! Nuts, right?? Our nut crackers come all the way from Australia and use knives to gently break open the shell and release the precious kernel.
After cracking, we use a rotating screen (trommel) with different hole sizes to sort the kernel by size.
Our optical sorter uses a high speed camera to identify any imperfections in the kernel and shoots a high speed jet of air to kick out the imperfect kernel. Fun Fact: Our historic factory was the first to use an optical sorter on macadamia nuts in the 90s.
Macadamia nut kernels go through a quick roast in this huge oven to be sure they are dry enough for storage and food safety.
Here we give our kernels one more visual inspection with a human eye and then vacuum pack the kernels into 25 lb cases ready for our kitchen.
15. Magic Time
Our certified kitchen works its magic turning our farm fresh macadamia nuts into all of your favorite treats.
16. Quality Control
Our keikis love making sure every single mac nut is perfect!