by Rajesh Jha
When macadamia nut oil is produced, what’s left is a byproduct called macadamia nut cake. Until recently, “MNC” was considered a waste product and therefore, went straight to the landfill.
Fortunately, the Dept. of Human Nutrition, Food and Animal Sciences saw an opportunity to put this waste to good use. We explored the nutritional and functional values of MNC as a potential alternative feedstuff for animals, which could potentially reduce production costs and the need for imported feeds. MNC is one of several alternative feedstuffs we are investigating for their nutritional and functional value. Oils of Aloha, the only producer of macadamia nut oil on Oʻahu, was eager to provide the MNC needed for this investigation.
I’m proud to say our work so far has been successful! After a series of experiments and studies, our research group was able to convert what was previously thought of as a “waste and environmental burden” into a “valuable animal feed ingredient.”
You can read about the nutritional value of MNC in pig and poultry feeds in our published papers, most recently Macadamia nut cake as an alternative feedstuff for broilers: Effect on growth performance, which appears in Science Direct.
We’re currently working on additional papers that explore the role of MNC in modulating the intestinal microbiota of pigs and poultry, and the use of MNC in pastured chicken. And if you’re interested in several other alternative feedstuffs for animals, please visit my lab website. I believe their potential is great, and could potentially contribute to healthy and environmentally-friendly animal production, while maintaining the competitiveness of the industry.