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Why are Island Princess 100% Hawaiian Macadamia Nuts so special?

* The Macadamia Nut industry was started and developed in Hawaii, setting the "gold standard" for quality and taste for the rest of the world.

* Through years of agricultural research through the University of Hawaii the "perfect" macadamia nut trees were developed which produce that special delicate flavor and crunch of the Hawaiian varieties. Our trees were developed specifically to thrive in small-integrated farms where nuts ripen naturally and fall to the ground for harvesting. Each macadamia nut is valuable and is treated with respect.

* Island Princess Hawaii-grown Macadamia Nuts are farmed under strict laws and controls, as required by USA farming laws, to insure that the quality and purity of the Macadamia Nuts are maintained. No insecticides are used.

* Hawaii-grown Macadamia Nuts are harvested and processed year round, and therefore are naturally fresher products than those coming from industrial farms in countries such as Australia and South Africa where macadamia nuts are harvested once a year and may be in warehouse storage for extended periods.

* Foreign (outside of Hawaii) grown macadamia nuts are not necessarily grown under controlled farming methods, which may include wide variations in fertilization techniques, use of pest control chemicals, harvesting and storing methods.

* Island Princess Hawaii-grown Macadamia Nuts are processed, roasted and packed under rigid USA food laws. Foreign grown macadamia nuts are processed under a wide variety of standards which could affect the quality and integrity of the final products.

* Island Princess Macadamia Nuts have a perfect balance of natural sweetness and satisfying buttery oils since they are grown in conditions unique to Hawaii: an optimum combination of volcanic soil, tropical temperatures, and rainfall, much like the special environmental conditions that are required to produce premium Kona coffee beans. Hawaii's environment produces macadamia nuts of the perfect taste and texture that makes them an ideal mate to fine chocolate or a sensational addition to any main course!


Why They Are Called Macadamia Nuts

Born in May of 1827 in Northbank, near Glasgow, Scotland, John MacAdam (Macadam) was a brilliant young scientist in the fields of chemistry and medicine who emigrated to Melbourne, Australia soon after his graduation from Glasgow University.

[He is not to be confused with John Loudon MacAdam (1756 - 1836), an engineer and fellow Scotsman, who, after coming to the United States, invented the system of constructing roads known as "macadamized roads."]

In 1858, John MacAdam was appointed the Victorian Government Analytical Chemist and in 1860 became the Health Officer for the City of Melbourne. He also served as a member of the Legislative Assembly and the Executive Council of Victoria. MacAdam was the first lecturer to teach at the University of Melbourne School of Medicine, offering his initial lecture in chemistry on March 3, 1862.

In spite of his many scientific accomplishments however, he did not "discover" the tree that bears his name.

It was John MacAdam's good friend, fellow scientist and colleague, Baron Ferdinand Heinrich von Mueller (June 30, 1825 - October 10, 1896), a well-respected physician, geographer and most notably, a botanist serving as Director of the Botanical Gardens in Melbourne, who upon identifying and classifying the tree, named it in honor of MacAdam.

Scientific Classification: Kingdom: Plantae | Division: Magnoliophyta | Class: Magnoliopsida | Order: Proteales | Family: Proteaceae | Genus: Macadamia | Species: macadamia integrifolia and macadamia tetraphylla


Facts on Macs

The macadamia tree is related to the protea family. Virtually all of Hawaii's macadamia nuts come from the Big Island of Hawaii. Hawaii was the site of the world's first commercial macadamia nut farm. A sugar plantation manager named William H. Purvis introduced the macadamia to Hawaii in the late 1800's.

Macadamia nuts are not picked from the tree but are harvested when the nuts have fallen to the ground-a sign that they are fully ripe. A typical macadamia tree in an orchard may take seven years to begin producing and will not attain full production until it is 10 to 12 years old.

Generally, a single tree can produce approximately 65 pounds of nuts each year. Once harvested, the nuts must be husked within 24 hours.

A tough nut to crack! It takes 300 pounds per square inch to break the shell of a macadamia nut-the hardest of all nut shells.

Hawaii has more than 700 macadamia nut farms and 8 processing plants. The industry employs some 3,000 workers statewide.


Hawaiian Moment

Honolulu Star Bulletin - Sunday, May 23, 2004 By: Robert C. Schmitt for The Hawaiian Historical Society

Macadamia nuts, native to Australia, were first planted in Hawaii around 1881. William Purvis, the young manager of the Pacific Sugar Mill at Kukuihaele on The Big Island, planted seed nuts that year at Kapulena. Eleven years later, the Jordan brothers successfully planted some seeds at their home in Nuuanu. The nuts soon became popular with Hawaii residents, but they were not planted commercially until 1921. In that year, Ernest VanTassel leased government land on Round Top and planted it with seeds from the Jordan and Purvis trees. Then, in 1922, he formed the Hawaiian Macadamia Nut Co., Ltd. Other planters quickly followed, establishing macadamia nut farms on Oahu, The Big Island and elsewhere. Commercial processing of macadamia nuts began in 1934 at VanTassel's new factory in Kakaako. The nuts were shelled, roasted, salted, bottled and marketed there as "Van's Macadamia Nuts." Macadamia nut candies became commercially available a few years later. Two well-known confectioners, Ellen Dye Candies and the Alexander Young Hotel candy shop, began making and selling chocolate-covered macadamia nuts in the middle or late 1930's.

Healthy Facts on Macs

* Macadamia nuts are high in monounsaturated fatty acid ("good" fat), which can help reduce overall cholesterol levels. Eighty percent of fat in macadamia nut oil is monounsaturated - six percent higher than olive oil, with 74 percent.

* Macadamia nuts contain flavonoids (a phytochemical) and tocopherols (vitamin E), which are potent antioxidants and can aid against cancer and heart disease.

* Unsalted macadamia nuts contain no cholesterol and are low in sodium and saturated fats.

* Macadamia nuts are high in minerals and are part of a healthy diet.

* One ounce, approximately 11 macadamia nuts, has two grams of protein.

* Macadamia nuts contain vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and iron.

* Macadamia nuts are one of the few foods that contain palmitoleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid. In a recent study, indicators suggest the palmitoleic acid may actually aid in fat metabolism, possibly reducing stored body fat.

* Macadamia nut oil contains Omega 3, known to reduce the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure.

* A study conducted at the University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine in 2000 and published in the prestigious Archives of Internal Medicine, reports that eating macadamia nuts can have a positive effect on blood cholesterol levels.

* The report indicates that a relatively high fat diet - where much of the fat content comes from the monounsaturated fats in macadamia nuts - reduces overall cholesterol levels and improves the critical HDL/LDL cholesterol balance.

The results of the study also confirm that macadamia nuts have nutritional and dietary benefits equal to or better than olive oil and other tree nuts.