Macadamia nuts are one of few food products that are a dietary source of the omega-7 fatty acid, palmitoleic acid. Palmitoleic acid is a relatively uncommon monounsaturated fatty acid, and is present in moderate to high amounts (12%-30%) in macadamia kernels. This omega-7 fatty acid is known to exhibit multiple beneficial biological functions associated with health and disease, particularly obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. By understanding the genetic factors and genes associated with the accumulation of palmitoleic acid, it may be possible to produce macadamia cultivars with specific nutritional traits, such as enhanced palmitoleic acid, as well as to provide valuable information for future manipulation of the macadamia fatty acid pathway through plant breeding.

Wei Hu headshotWei Hu

My name is Wei Hu and I am a PhD student working on the fatty acid profile of macadamia nuts, with a focus on the omega 7 compound, ‘palmitoleic acid’. My thesis revolves around identifying the effect of genetic factors (pollen and genotype) on the accumulation of fatty acids, as well as identifying the relevant candidate genes for fatty acid manipulation in macadamia kernels.

Wei Hu, PhD Candidate, Centre for Nutrition and Food Sciences, Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation E: w.hu1@uqconnect.edu.au

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Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation hosts science seminars across the disciplines of animal, horticulture, crop, food and nutritional sciences.

With a range of speakers from Australia and abroad, the series explores how high-impact science will significantly improve the competitiveness and sustainability of the tropical and sub-tropical food, fibre and agribusiness sectors.

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The Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation is a research institute at The University of Queensland supported by the Queensland Government via the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.


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