Macadamia nut ripeness

Knowing when your macadamia nuts are ready to harvest

Ripening of macadamia nuts varies between varieties, location, and season. In NZ this usually means ripening is occuring from May right through to October. Even on a single tree, individual macadamia nuts may ripen over several months.

 

  • The float test. During the ripening process sugars change to oils. This means that the kernel of a ripe madadamia nut will float in fresh water, whereas kernel from an unripe macadamia nut will sink. Crack a sample of fresh nuts, remove a sample of kernel, and test by dropping into a glass of water.
  • A ripe macadamia nut will have a chocolate brown inner to the husk. If the inside of the husk is white, then the nut is not ripe.
  • A ripe macadamia nut will not be sticky on the outside. It will come away from the husk easily. If the nut feels sticky on the outside when you remove it from the husk, it will not be ripe.
Float testing kernel
Float testing kernel
unripe nut
Unripe nuts are sticky
ripe macadamia nut in brown husk
Ripe nuts are brown inside the husk