Standards

KERNEL

INTRODUCTION

SAMAC Handlers are guided by the quality specifications proposed by the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council (INC).

SAMAC HANDLERS AGREED MINIMUM STANDARD FOR MACADAMIA KERNEL

SAMAC Handlers adhere to a minimum standard for macadamia kernel, based on a combination of specifications adapted from the INC, UNECE 22 and 23 and internal minimum standards. The following standards have been agreed to by all SAMAC Handlers:

KERNEL STANDARDS

(UPDATED 10 JANUARY 2018)

SAMAC KERNEL STANDARDS SAMAC First Grade Commercial Trade Local Market
Parameters
Styles 0 – 4 Styles 5 – 8
Styles 0 – 4 Styles 5 – 8
Styles 0 – 4 Styles 5 – 8
 Total Plate Count
<20,000 cfu/g <30,000 cfu/g
<20,000 cfu/g <30,000 cfu/g
<20,000 cfu/g <30,000 cfu/g
 Yeast and Moulds
<20,000 cfu/g <30,000 cfu/g
<20,000 cfu/g <30,000 cfu/g
<20,000 cfu/g <30,000 cfu/g
 Escherichia coli  Not detected  (BS 5763 method) Not detected  (BS 5763 method) Not detected  (BS 5763 method)
 Salmonella Not detected in 25g (ISO 6579 method) Not detected in 25g (ISO 6579 method) Not detected in 25g (ISO 6579 method)
 Listeria monocytogenes  Not detected Not detected Not detected
 Coliforms
 <300 cfu/g  <350 cfu/g
 <300 cfu/g  <350 cfu/g
 <300 cfu/g  <350 cfu/g
 Moisture content  Maximum 2%  Maximum 2%  Maximum 2%
 Peroxide value
Max 3 mEq/kg Max 3.5 mEq/kg
Max 3 mEq/kg Max 3.5 mEq/kg
Max 3 mEq/kg Max 3.5 mEq/kg
Free fatty acids  Max 0.5%  Max 0.5%  Max 0.5%
 Aflatoxin total  Max 4 ppb  Max 4 ppb  Max 4 ppb
 Aflatoxin B1  Max 2 ppb  Max 2 ppb  Max 2 ppb
 Loose shell pieces
Max 1 piece larger than 2mm / 11.34 kg Max 2 pieces / 11.34 kg
Max 1 piece larger than 2mm / 11.34 kg Max 2 pieces / 11.34 kg
Max 1 piece larger than 2mm / 11.34 kg Max 2 pieces / 11.34 kg
 Impacted Shell
Max 1 piece larger than 2mm / 11.34 kg Max 2 pieces / 11.34 kg
Max 1 piece larger than 2mm / 11.34 kg Max 2 pieces / 11.34 kg
Max 1 piece larger than 2mm / 11.34 kg Max 2 pieces / 11.34 kg
 Chemical residues  As per importing country’s food standards  As per importing country’s food standards  As per importing country’s food standards
 Reject Defects (Insect damage, 791 spot, discoloration, shrivelled/immature)  Max 1.5%  Max 1.5%  Max 1.5%
 Insect infestation  None  None  None
 Kernel Colour  Uniform, normal, natural cream colour  Uniform, normal, natural cream coloured nuts, as well as nuts that are discoloured due to physiological browning and/or onion ring  Uniform, normal, natural cream colour
 Kernel Appearance  Free from surface soil  Free from surface soil  Free from surface soil
 Flavour and Odour  No off flavours or odours  No off flavours or odours  No off flavours or odours
 Kernel Dust  The UNECE Standard DDP-23 specification: foreign matter, shells and dust: 0.25% by weight  The UNECE Standard DDP-23 specification: foreign matter, shells and dust: 0.25% by weight  The UNECE Standard DDP-23 specification: foreign matter, shells and dust: 0.25% by weight
 Foreign material  None  None  None
 Shell marks  Not permitted  Not permitted  Not permitted
 Bulk packaging  Packaging material should be food grade; Flushed with good grade N2 / CO₂ so that residual oxygen is less than 2%  Packaging material should be food grade; Flushed with good grade  N2 / CO₂ so that residual oxygen is less than 2%  Packaging material should be food grade; Flushed with good grade N2 / CO₂ so that residual oxygen is less than 2%
 Bulk packaging material transmission rates  A 25°C and 75% RH and 1 atm: Water vapour less than 0.1 cc/m²; Oxygen less than 0.1 cm³/m² A 25°C and 75% RH and 1 atm: Water vapour less than 0.1 cc/m²; Oxygen less than 0.1 cm³/m² A 25°C and 75% RH and 1 atm: Water vapour less than 0.1 cc/m²; Oxygen less than 0.1 cm³/m²
 Export Retail packaging  Nitrogen or food grade CO₂ flushed and residual oxygen is less than 2%  Nitrogen or food grade CO₂   flushed and residual oxygen is less than 2%  N/A
 Immatures  None (float test)  None (float test)  None – no sinkers using float test
 Sizing
Style 0  Greater than 20mm with min 95% wholes
 Style 1  16-21 mm with 90% wholes
 Style S1  13-17 mm with 95% wholes
 Style 2  Pieces greater than 13 mm with 50%
 Style 3  Pieces greater than 13 mm with 15%
 Style 4 L Pieces greater than 13 mm with 80%
 Style 4 S Pieces 9-15 mm with min 50% halves
 Style 5   8-14 mm pieces (Minimum 80%)
 Style 6  5-9 mm chips and pieces (min80%)
 Style 7  3-6 mm chips and pieces (min 70%)
 Style 8  Pieces smaller than 3 mm (min 70%

 

Commercial Grade Kernel containing discolouration, onion ring and 791 spot and immature.  To be used in food ingredients.  May not be sold as snack products/first/premium/choice grade and be labelled as commercial grade.  Not more than 2% industrial grade
Industrial Grade Kernel with defects such as insect damage which are not suitable for human consumption – only to be used for oil processing and cosmetic products etc.  To be labelled as industrial grade.  Not allowed to be sold in retail
Definition of whole: Not more than 25% missing / chipped out
Definition of halves: Not more than 33% missing of half of the kernel

STORAGE OF VACUUM PACKED RAW MACADAMIA KERNEL

Vacuum packed raw macadamia kernel should be stored in a cool (15°C to 25°C), dry and well ventilated area. Stored under these conditions, raw macadamia kernel which conformed to all the quality specifications at packing, will maintain this quality for 16 to 18 months without any serious quality deterioration. This length of time of quality preservation is of course only achieved if the correct vacuum pouch material, with the oxygen and water vapour transmission rate properties as described below is used:

Gas flushed (nitrogen or carbon dioxide) vacuum packed macadamias at 1.5% or less MC%, have been shown to have a storage/shelf life of 12 to 18 months, at ambient temperature (up to 38°C). PROVIDED that the materials used for vacuum pouches meet the following oxygen and water vapour transmission rates:

Oxygen:- maximum 0.1cc/m2/24 hours @ 25°C, 75% RH and 1 atmosphere pressure.
Water Vapour:- maximum 0.1 g/m2/24 hours @ 25°C, 75% RH and 1 atmosphere pressure

These maximum transmission rates can be provided for by the following composition of pouch material:

Biaxially oriented (BO) nylon 15 micron
Aluminium foil 9 micron
LLD polyethylene 96 micron
TOTAL 120 micron

Which most processors have agreed to standardise on from the 1998 season onwards

Most processors have also agreed to work towards standardising on a nett weight per carton of 25lbs (11.34kg) of kernel, since this appears to be the carton weight most commonly used in the international macadamia market. The dimensions of the standardised pouch of composition as mentioned above are:-

550 mm x 610 mm, with the pouch opening on the 610 mm dimension.

This size of pouch will adequately hold 25lb (11.34 kg) of macadamia kernel of all styles, once vacuum sealed for insertion into the carton.

On removal from the vacuum pouch, raw macadamia kernel will maintain freshness, if placed in an airtight container in a refrigerator, for at least 2 months. If, after removal from the vacuum pouch, raw macadamia kernel is left unsealed, or even kept in a thin polyethylene or other plastic bag, at ambient conditions, quality deterioration will be very fast and off odours and flavours will begin to be detected after only 3 to 4 weeks, after which rancidity sets in, making for a very bad macadamia eating experience.

Work done by Cavaletto et al (1966) showed that raw macadamia kernel stored at 1.4% moisture in vacuum packed pouches, showed excellent stability at all storage temperatures for 16 months. The storage temperatures compared in this study were 35°F (5.5°C), ambient and 100°F (37.5°C) in both light and dark conditions. €œStability€ measures were:

Raw kernel flavour

Raw kernel total sugar content

Raw kernel reducing sugar content

Raw kernel free fatty acids

It was only at higher moisture contents of kernel vacuum packed and stored in this experiment, that quality deterioration as measured by the abovementioned parameters, was detected over time. Since all South African product is vacuum packed at kernel moisture contents <1.5%, it would appear from this work that even temperatures up to 37.5°C do not bring about quality deterioration over 16 months.

Yet another study, conducted by Bowden and Reeves (undated) in Australia, showed that as long as raw kernel was sealed (either vacuum packed or non-vacuum packed) in pouches of the correct material meeting the oxygen and water vapour transmission rates as defined in an earlier paragraph, it could be stored for up to 8 months under Brisbane ambient conditions with virtually no deterioration in quality. In this instance, the quality parameters measured were:-

Raw kernel flavour and odour (6 member panel)

Roasted kernel colour, flavour and texture (20 member panel)

Raw kernel peroxide value and free fatty acids

Raw kernel total sugar and reducing sugar contents

Despite all of this experimental evidence, quality preservation can be ensured with confidence if the recommended 15°C to 25°C storage temperatures can be maintained in a well ventilated dry storage area.

Reference:

Cavaletto, C., Dela Cruz, A., Ross E. and Yamanoto, HY. 1966 Factors Affecting Macadamia Nut Stability. Food Technology August 1966

Bowden, RP and Reeves, RK (undated). Packaging of Raw Macadamia Kernels. Food Research and Technology Branch, Queensland Dept of Primary Industries, Hamilton, Brisbane.

NUT-IN-SHELL

The South African Macadamia industry is pleased to have implemented an export standard on all inshell macadamia nuts. This means that the Perishable Products Export Control Board (PPECB) need to inspect every consignment of macadamia nuts that are due for export as inshell to ensure it conforms to the minimum standard.

  • To download the standard click here.
  • To download the Government notice relating to the standard, click here.
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