what is the difference between macadamia and hazelnut? - RatinKhosh Co.
what is the difference between macadamia nut and hazelnut?

What is the difference between macadamia and hazelnut?

Ratinkhosh R&D Team

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You may always get confused in choosing between macadamia nuts and hazelnuts because they look so much alike. But although they are similar in shape and buttery texture, they are quite different.

Hazelnuts, filberts, and cobnuts are all the fruits of hazel trees family and are originated in Asia; while Macadamias aren’t actually a nut and are classified as seeds.

Here, in this article, we share our findings from research about the difference between these two rich yummies with you guys.

You can find out more about hazelnuts in our other articles on how to choose perfect hazelnuts, the difference between macadamia and hazelnuthazelnut allergy symptoms and treatments.


What do we have here:

  • Physical appearance

  • Flavor comparison

  • Nutritional values

  • Comparison charts

  • Cultivation

  • Uses of each nut

Fasten your seatbelts; we’re in for a ride into the world of nuts. Are you ready? 1, 2, 3… go!


Physical Appearance 


  • Hazelnuts:

Shape and Size: hazelnuts have an oval or round shape and grow to a maximum size of 15 to 20 mm in length and 10 to 15 in diameter.

Color: they have brown shells, while the kernels have a thin edible peel of dark brown color and the cream is light in color, with a hollow center.


  • Macadamias:

Shape and size: they have smooth hard shells that include a white kernel. A whole Macadamia seed in the mature state has a round shape with external diameters of 25 to 40 mm.

Color: they have a dark green cover which turns brown after being picked from the tree. The macadamia kernel is elegant off-white, which has hints of pink and orange. This makes them a great selection to match with almost every other color.


Flavor comparison

  • Macadamias are creamy and rich in fat, they almost taste like the inside of a fresh coconut. They have a subtle, rich buttery flavor with a texture that is more creamy than crispy! Which is why they can be a great flavor for adding to coffees and beverages.
  • Hazelnuts are sweet, buttery and crunchy, they have an advantage over other nuts because they can stand up in recipes with many high-taste ingredients such as chocolate. The characteristic flavor of hazelnuts is nutty, toasted, with slight notes of musty and earthy.


Nutritional Value

Macadamias contain more calories and saturated fats and fewer vitamins and minerals than hazelnuts. I provided some infographic charts to find the real differences between their nutritional values:

Nutritional Value hazelnut vs macadamia

The amounts are specified per 100 grams of macadamias and hazelnuts. The main source of this data is USDA food composition Database (U.S, Department of Agriculture).


Now let’s break down these nutritional facts into separate parts:

  • Mineral comparison

  • Vitamin comparison

  • Mineral and vitamin summary scores

  • Micronutrients comparison

  • Summary table


Mineral comparison

Hazelnuts and macadamias are somehow close in mineral content. But hazelnut is the winner of this mineral competition. Because it contains more Iron, Calcium, Potassium, Magnesium, copper, Zink, Sodium, and Phosphorus.

The mineral comparison score here is based on the amount of minerals by which nut is richer. The coverage chart below shows how much of our daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of each nut:

Mineral comparison hazelnut vs macadamia

Vitamin comparison

Hazelnuts contain more vitamins such as Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin A, B5 and B6. On the other hand, macadamias contain more vitamin B1, B2 and B3.

This chart shows how much of our daily vitamin needs can be covered by 300 grams of each individual nut:

Mineral and Vitamin Summary Scores

Here is a summary chart of the scores between mineral and vitamin contents of hazelnuts and macadamias from left to right.

This summary score is calculated by summing up the daily needs of mineral and vitamins contained in 300 grams of each nut.

Mineral and Vitamin Summary Scores

Micronutrient comparison

Hazelnuts are much richer in protein, carbs, fats and other micronutrients. This chart compares the amount of protein, total fats and total carbohydrates (sugar and fiber) in 300 grams of the nuts in 300 grams of them.

Micronutrient comparison between hazelnut and macadamia

Comparison summary table

In addition, macadamias are lower in glycemic index and price. Hazelnuts contain less sugar, sodium, saturated fat and richer in minerals. Otherwise, they both are low in cholesterol and rich in vitamins.

Pay attention to the right column which shows the amount charts side by side, which makes it easier to find out the amount of difference.

Comparison summary table between hazelnut and macadamia

Which Nut is Preferable in Case of Diets?

  • Hazelnuts are better in case of low calories and low fats diets
  • Macadamias are more suitable for low carb diets such as Keto diet and paleo diet. They are also better in case of low glycemic diets.

Which Nut is Preferable in Case of Diets?



  • Macadamias are the only plant food native to Australia; they are also commercially cultivated in Sulawesi, Indonesia. The two varieties that are bred for consumption are Macadamia tetraphylla and Macadamia integrifolia; the other macadamia varieties have toxic ingredients that make them inedible for humans.
  • Hazelnuts are commercially cultivated in Italy, Oregon, and Washington, with the most significant worldwide producer being Turkey. There are more than 20 varieties of hazelnut, each with its own unique shape and flavor.


Uses and Applications

Hazelnuts and macadamias can both be eaten raw or cooked. The famous chocolate spread, Nutella, is made with processed hazelnuts, while macadamia nuts are an ingredient used in bakery and confectionery or as a substitute for chopped hazelnuts in cookies of bread.

Macadamia oil is produced from cold-pressed macadamias and includes high levels of palmitoleic oil, which makes it an excellent ingredient for cosmetic and skincare products such as creams and moisturizers.


Wrapping up!

If you ask our opinion, we would like the hazelnuts better, because we are one of the crunchy fans. But if you prefer a creamy soft nut (macadamias aren’t nuts! They are seed by the way.) or if you are on a low carb diet, you can enjoy macadamias. Otherwise, you would prefer hazelnuts for their rich nutrient profile and heavenly taste.

You can buy Nuts in wholesale from Ratinkhosh, but if you want to buy in retail you can buy nuts from websites like Nuts.com or Natural Moreish or Sincerely Nuts

Note! You should know that macadamias are toxic to dogs and you shouldn’t eat hazelnuts if you have a nut allergy.


That’s it, guys. If you have any questions about hazelnuts, you can ask us in email or live chat.


[1] https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/


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