Aus­tralian nut’s shell has the power to heal

NewsMail - Wide Bay Rural Weekly - - TOP 5 TOPICS -

SCI­EN­TISTS have dis­cov­ered that ma­cadamia nut shells could be a pow­er­ful tool for Aus­tralian hos­pi­tals to use in the treat­ment of poi­son­ings.

Funded by Hort Innovation, and con­ducted by Mur­doch Univer­sity, the new re­search shows crushed ma­cadamia shells could be more ef­fi­cient than tra­di­tional char­coal in treat­ing cer­tain kinds of poi­son­ing.

Aus­tralian med­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties treat pa­tients by get­ting them to in­gest a char­coal made from co­conut shells which ex­pands in the stom­ach to soak up tox­ins.

This latest re­search has found the ab­sorp­tion rate of crushed ma­cadamia shells is sim­i­lar to the tra­di­tional co­conut shell treat­ment, but can be spe­cially en­gi­neered to be more ef­fec­tive at mop­ping up tox­ins, and drug spe­cific.

Hort Innovation chief ex­ec­u­tive John Lloyd said the new find­ing would al­low grow­ers to tap into an ad­di­tional in­come stream.

“Lim­it­ing food waste is an in­creas­ing area of re­search in­vest­ment for hor­ti­cul­ture in­dus­tries. Grow­ers are al­ways look­ing for novel ways to re­pur­pose their by-prod­ucts,” he said.

“When it comes to macadamias, 65% of the weight of the nut is in the shell so there is a huge vol­ume of shell gen­er­ated.”

PHOTO: ROWAN SCHINDLER

RE­SEARCH: Ma­cadamia shells could be used to treat poi­sons.

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