Midlands Nutritional Oils
Huge potential for hemp seed products
Hemp oil may only be a small part of Midlands Nutritional Oils’ product range but – as a recent event proved – it has huge potential.
The privately-owned Ashburton based company, which is part of the Midlands Group, mostly produces bulk Flaxseed Oil for domestic and off-shore natural health product manufacturers.
Sales and Marketing Manager Nigel Hosking says hemp seed oil sales had been steadily growing but went “off the scale” in mid-August when Country Calendar featured a hemp story.
“Sales started to climb as soon as the pre-programme teaser went to air and then went mad after the show screened,” says Nigel.
“We made more sales in the following five days than we had in the previous five months and were completely cleaned out of stock.”
In addition to selling bulk wholesale hemp seed oil, Midlands Nutritional Oils also retails oil capsules and extra-virgin cold-pressed culinary oil under its own brand – new hemisphere™. (www.nzhempoil.co.nz)
Hemp seed oil is a rich source of essential fatty acids (including Omegas 3 and 6) and gamma linolenic acid, so it supports joint health; healthy skin, hair and nails, brain function, and provides nutrients for maintaining healthy cholesterol, blood pressure and hormone levels.
The culinary oil, which has a delicate nutty flavour, is ideal for salad dressings and dips but should not be heated because this destroys the active ingredients.
At present New Zealand’s food laws do not allow hemp seeds to be used in other types of food products such as hulled hemp seed protein and flour, but the regulations are expected to change around the end of this year.
“It’s such a great source of protein, amino acids, minerals and vitamins. There’s a growing consumer demand for plant-based foods and there’s clearly a market for hemp flour and other food products,” says Nigel. “New Zealand is one of the last cabs off the rank to allow hemp foods so, in our view, the law change can’t come fast enough!”
Industrial hemp vs dope (marijuana)
They may both be the same plant – Cannabis sativa – but that’s where the similarities between industrial hemp and marijuana end. New Zealand law permits 12 industrial hemp cultivars, all of which have very low to no THC (the ingredient that gives marijuana its psychoactive effects).
THC is found in the leaves and flowers but not the seeds. Midlands Nutritional Oils only processes industrial hemp seed, so there’s absolutely no chance of getting any kind of buzz – other than the feel-good factor associated with good health – from their products.