How Long Do Macadamia Nuts Last in Shell?

Macadamia nuts are among the world’s most expensive, with a hard shell that makes cracking them an arduous task. They are delicious, nutritious, and easy to store, and you mostly buy them in a shell form.

How long do macadamia nuts last in the shell? When stored in an airtight container, you can retain their quality in the refrigerator for about 12 months.

What are the benefits of macadamia? Do they go bad? And how to store them? Let’s find out!

About Macadamia Nuts

macadamia nuts
Macadamia nut tree. Credit: canva

What Are Macadamia Nuts?

Macadamia nuts are a type of nut that is native to Australia. They can be found in many different varieties, including raw, roasted, salted, and honey roasted.

The Macadamia is a genus that consists of four species of evergreen trees belonging to the family Proteaceae. These plants are known for their richly flavored edible seeds.

The macadamia nut is also known as the Queensland nut, bush nut, Maroochy nut, bauple nut, and Hawaii nut.

The type of nut we commonly call macadamia is used in the Aboriginal languages of Australia. It has different names depending on the region but was an essential resource for bushfood rich in protein and essential oils.

The macadamia nut can be roasted and salted or used as an ingredient in treats like confections and chocolates or other ingredients such as sauces, pastry fillings, etc.

Where Are They from?

The trees originated in the coastal rainforests and scrubs of Queensland (Australia). They are now commercially grown in several subtropical areas.

How Are They Grown?

The macadamias grown commercially are primarily of two species, the rough-shelled M. tetraphylla, and the smooth-shelled M. integrifolia; both varieties tend to hybridize beyond distinction.

The Hybrid is planted heavily in Australia and New Zealand, often used for commercial purposes.

Most commercial production takes place in their native Australia and Hawaii. However, given the successes of the Hawaiian macadamia industry, other subtropical regions have planted orchards, and there are large acreages of macadamias in South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Malawi, as well as parts of South and Central America.

Is Macadamia Nut a Tree Nut?

Yes, a macadamia nut is a tree nut. The trees are called evergreen trees. They belong to the family Proteaceae known for their richly flavored edible seeds.

How Long Do Macadamia Nuts Last in Shell?

macadamia nuts
Macadamia nuts. Credit: canva

Purchasing Fresh Macadamia Nuts

Fresh macadamia nuts should be bright green in color and plump. If they appear dry or wrinkled, they were not properly stored.

Macadamia nuts are packaged in their natural shells. However, once they’ve been shelled, the way they’re packaged can make all the difference in how much longer their shelf life will be

If buying macadamia nuts with their shells on, look for those with no cracks or holes.

When buying shelled macadamia nuts, look for ones packaged in a sealed container to avoid any contamination. This will maximize the quality and freshness.

How Long Do Macadamia Nuts Last?

When it comes to the shelf life of your macadamia nuts, temperature makes all the difference.

The shelf life of macadamia nuts in their shell (unshelled macadamia nuts) is about six months at room temperature. But when you store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container, their shelf life increases to 12 months.

Shelled macadamia nuts keep best if they’re kept in the freezer. They’ll stay good for up to 18 months if frozen.

How to Store Macadamia Nuts?

Store macadamia nuts in a cool, dark location. Keep away from heat sources, light, and moisture. Keep them in an airtight container at room temperature. You can use plastic bags or jars with tight lids.

Ideally, store them in the fridge, so they stay fresher longer.

If you want to keep them longer than one year, freeze them. Freeze them in an airtight container and use them within six months.

Freezing macadamia nuts will preserve them better than refrigeration. Freezing preserves nutrients and enzymes, which makes them more digestible.

Can Macadamia Nuts Go Bad?

No, macadamia nuts don’t spoil like most other foods. They get stale.

Stale macadamia nuts may lose some of their flavors but still taste great. To revive them, roast them in a hot oven until golden brown.

Storing macadamia nuts in the pantry won’t affect their quality. When you expose them to high temperatures, they start losing their nutritional value.

How to Eat Macadamia Nuts?

What Do Macadamia Nuts Taste Like?

Macadamia nuts have a rich buttery flavor and are often used in chocolates, desserts, and snacks.

They have quality protein and rich buttery flavor–making them popular on the snack aisle and in many desserts.

What Do Macadamia Nuts Look Like?

Macadamia nuts are round in shape and light in color.

The macadamia nut is tough to crack. It requires around 2,000 N of force to break the shell. The shell material has a hardness comparable with aluminum and mechanical properties similar to hazelnuts.

Macadamia Nuts: Eat Raw or Roasted?

It’s not recommended to eat raw macadamias because of the risk of choking. If you’re allergic to peanuts, you should also steer clear of eating raw macadamias.

However, roasted macadamias are safe to eat even if you’re allergic to peanuts.

Roasting brings out its natural oils and gives it a delicious aroma.

You can either buy already-roasted macadamias or make them yourself.

Nutrition Information


Raw macadamia nuts only contain 1% water, 14% carbohydrates, 76% fat, and 8% protein (table).

A 100-gram reference amount of macadamia nuts can provide you with 740 kilocalories. Macadamia nuts are rich in essential nutrients, including thiamin (104% DV), B6, pantothenic acid, niacin, riboflavin, etc.

Compared to other nuts like almonds and cashews, macadamias are high in total fat and relatively low in protein. They contain a large percentage of monounsaturated fats (59%)

Macadamia Nuts: Calories in 1 Nut

The total calories in:

  • 1 nut (2.6g): 19 Calories
  • 1 oz (10-12 kernels): 204 Calories
  • 100g: 718-740 Calories
  • 1 cup (whole/halves): 962 Calories

How Much Protein in Macadamia Nuts?

The protein content of macadamia nuts ranges between 5.5-7%.

This is lower than the average protein content of other nuts such as almonds (8%), pistachios (9%), pecans (11%), walnuts (13%), and cashews (14%).

This means that macadamias are less nutritious than other nuts. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t include them in your diet. You can easily replace macadamias with other healthier nuts. 

How Many Per Day?

A healthy portion of macadamia nuts is about 30g or 15 whole nuts per day. Although it may be a welcome change, ideally, you should try to eat no more than one handful and no less than one nut.

Several studies have shown that 30g of nuts a day will provide heart-health benefits without weight gain.

Eating Too Many Macadamia Nuts

If you consume too many macadamias, you could experience stomach cramps, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. This is because macadamias contain tannins which act as laxatives.

Tannins are found in all nuts, but they are most abundant in macadamias. They are also present in tea leaves, berries, grapes, and wine.

Are Macadamia Nuts Healthy for You?


macadamia nuts
Credit: canva

Health Benefits

Lower risk of heart disease

A research review found that eating tree nuts lowers total cholesterol, bad cholesterol, and triglycerides. The lower risk factors for heart disease can decrease the chances of a person having a heart attack or stroke.

Help improve metabolic syndrome and diabetes

A metabolic syndrome is a group of conditions that can increase diabetes, stroke, and heart disease risk factors.

May prevent cancer

Macadamia nuts contain vitamin E called tocotrienols, which may have powerful anticancer abilities.

Protect the brain

Another study also found that tocotrienols help protect brain cells from the effects of glutamate, which may play a part in developing Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

May help lose weight

Macadamia nuts and their oil are some of the richest sources of palmitoleic acid, monounsaturated fat, also called omega-7. Some studies, although inconclusive, show that a certain quality of this macadamia fat may help in weight loss.

Help feel full longer

Macadamia nuts are high in protein, good fats, and fiber. Together these nutrients can help a person feel fuller for longer without overindulgence.

Benefits for Skin

Macadamia nuts are rich in lipids or fats, which may help reduce wrinkles.

Benefits for Hair

Macadamia oil is a hair conditioner. It can provide deep conditioning without the greasy feeling of some other oils, and it also helps control frizz caused by humidity or dryness.

Are Macadamia Nuts Bad for You?


Macadamias have so many health benefits that make eating them an excellent food. They can lower the risk of heart disease, help improve metabolic syndrome and diabetes, may help prevent cancer, protect the brain, and may help in weight loss.


Macadamia nuts also have some drawbacks.

Why Are Macadamia Nuts So Expensive?

Macadamias are challenging to propagate, slow to bear, and limited to a small geographic location. They can be expensive when harvest rates do not keep up with demand.

Macadamia Nuts and Dogs

Macadamia nuts are toxic for dogs. They can cause weakness and muscle paralysis within 12 hours of contact, often resulting in hind limb paralysis and inability to stand.


Are macadamia nuts the healthiest?

Macadamia nuts are high in healthy fats and may help those trying to lose weight. They also contain a good amount of protein, dietary fiber, manganese, thiamin, and copper. The fat content is higher than other popular nuts because they also have more protein and dietary fiber.

Are macadamia nuts a superfood?

The delicious macadamia nut is a superfood that shares many health benefits. Rich in protein, fiber, healthy fats, and essential nutrients, it may even take part in weight loss!

Why are macadamia nuts bad for you?

Macadamia nuts have a bad reputation because they are high in fat. However, most of their fat is monounsaturated (the good for you, heart-healthy kind of fat).

Can you eat too many macadamia nuts?

According to Jones, eating too many macadamia nuts will make you gain weight. That’s because nuts are calorie-intensive, meaning they have more energy per ounce than other food groups, primarily due to the healthy fats.

How long do macadamia nuts last?

Macadamia nuts are healthy for you but can spoil if stored improperly. They last a maximum of three months in an airtight container in the refrigerator– though they can also be frozen to stay edible for up to six months.

Are macadamia nuts Keto?

Macadamia nuts are an excellent choice for those following the keto diet. They have plenty of healthy monounsaturated fats, and they’re lower in carbs than other nuts.