Increasing the value of NZ macadamia nuts through nutrition and health claims

The High-Value Nutrition (HVN) National Science Challenge is funding a project to add to the sales value of New Zealand-grown macadamia nut products.

The available nutritional information for macadamias applies mainly to overseas varieties. Scientific evidence is also lacking as to why New Zealand macadamias differ in taste and size so profoundly from the same varieties grown in other countries.

Torere Macadamias Limited (TML) in Gisborne, with Plant & Food Research, have been awarded $43,220 over four months for a project that will identify and verify the distinctive qualities and nutritional value of New Zealand-grown macadamias. This knowledge should provide a sound basis on which to develop and validate innovative high-value products for future local and export markets.

TML’s research over many years has identified the best commercial dropping varieties suitable for the New Zealand climate. Staff of TML are all Māori, including family and trainee Orchard Managers from the Eastern Bay of Plenty, the East Coast and Gisborne.

“Our staff’s health and social well-being are vitally important and supported by TML with a safe, organic workplace,” says Vanessa Hayes, Ngai Tai, Whakatohea & Te Aitanga a Mahaki, TML Director.

“Staff gain experience in all aspects of the macadamia business, from planting seed nuts to product sales and marketing.

“Torere Macadamia staff are committed to training and working together to develop their whenua organically and sustainably with great pride,” she says.

Joanne Todd, Director of the High-Value Nutrition National Science Challenge, says HVN is hugely supportive of industries like TML.

“We are very excited to be able to fund small, innovative, industries like TML, who not only add to our future Aotearoa New Zealand local and export markets, but are also an extremely high-value food product, “ she says.

On 6 June, the New Zealand Macadamia Society held its Conference and Annual General Meeting in Karaka.

The conference provided an opportunity for members to hear from industry leaders and representatives, and to discuss their various experiences as growers and suppliers in the Macadamia Industry.

HVN’s Research Operations Manager, Dr Simmon Hofstetter, spoke at the conference about the HVN programme and its support of the industry via the newly awarded grant.

Dr Hofstetter said:

“The conference provided good insight into the work being done to resolve issues facing the New Zealand macadamia industry, including the increasing support for its long-term strategy. Producers and researchers are working together to understand and solve challenges to the industry, and the High-Value Nutrition National Science Challenge is honoured to be able to support a piece of the industry’s ongoing efforts.”

The HVN Challenge is a mission-led programme of innovative research into the health attributes of New Zealand-produced foods for our major export markets.

Over the next three years the Challenge will fund several projects through a competitive contestable funding process, and has recently approved other contestable funding opportunities with business partners.

The HVN Contestable Fund Request for Proposals remains open for applications. Read more here:

High-Value Nutrition, one of 11  National Science Challenges, has $45 million of funding over a five year period. Its website is

Source:  High-Value Nutrition National Science Challenge



Author: Bob Edlin

Editor of AgScience Magazine and Editor of the AgScience Blog