Quandong kernels are a traditional Aboriginal food item; they are rich in oil and contain large amounts of an unusual fatty acid, trans-11-octadecen-9-ynoic acid (santalbic acid), but it is not known whether this acid is absorbed and/or metabolized. The oil was fed at 12.6% of total energy content in semi-synthetic diets to groups of male Sprague-Dawley rats for 10 and 20 days. Santalbic acid was found in the lipids of plasma, adipose tissue, skeletal muscle, kidney, heart and liver but not in brain. Hepatic microsomal cytochrome P-450 activity in animals fed for 20 days was significantly higher (P < 0.05) than in controls. Histopathological examination did not reveal any lesions in the tissues of any animal fed quandong oil. The fact that santalbic acid was readily absorbed, widely distributed in tissues and was associated with an elevated level of hepatic cytochrome P-450 indicates that further studies are required to investigate whether or not there is a hazard associated with the human practice of consuming quandong kernels.