Cashew Nuts

The Cashew Nuts

The cashew tree originates from Brazil, occurring naturally on Caatinga, Cerrados and Amazonian biomes. Nowadays, the cashew tree is grown around the world especially in Brazil, Vietnam, Nigeria, Indonesia, Philippines, Benin, Guinea-Bissau, and the Ivory Coast but is now cultivated extensively in all tropical areas, notably in India and East Africa
The cashew tree belongs to Anacardiaceae family and the genera Anacardium has approximately 22 species; Anacardium occidentale has commercial utilization.
Anacardium occidentale is a medium-sized tree, spreading, evergreen, much branched; grows to a height of 12 m. When grown on lateritic, gravelly, coastal sandy areas it rarely exceeds 6 m and develops a spreading habit and globose shape with crown diameter to 12 m. Grown inland on loams, it reaches 15 m and is much branched, with a smaller (4-6 m) crown diameter. A. occidentale tree requires high temperatures; frost is deleterious. Distribution of rainfall is more important than the amount. The tree fruits well if rains are not abundant during flowering and if nuts mature in a dry period; the latter ensures good keeping quality.
The cashew fruit, which contains the seed or ‘nut,’ hangs at the end of what is referred to as the cashew ‘apple’ – the edible swollen fruit stem or pedicel.
The fruit itself is kidney-shaped, about the size of a large bean, and has a two-layered shell.
The outer layer of this shell contains a caustic oil that must be burned off before the nut is touched. The nuts are then roasted again or boiled to remove other toxic substances and the second shell is removed. The nuts may also be used as a source of oil.

Cashew nut, one of the most important edible nuts in the international trade, is the fruit of cashew trees and its kernel is the most widely industrialized cashew product The real fruit of the cashew is commonly a nut, composed of kernel and pericarp or shell.
The kernel is slightly curved back on itself and forms two cotyledons, representing about 20-25% of the nuts weight. It is wrapped in a thin and hard removing peel, which is about 5% of the whole nut
Cashew nuts are globally consumed for their desirable nutritional and sensory attributes, being good source of proteins (∼20%), carbohydrates (∼23%), and fats (∼45%)
It is an important delicacy, which is mainly used in confectionery and as a dessert nut, such as cakes, pastries, candies and chocolates, by enriching their taste and appearance
In the form of flour, cashew is especially used to prepare cereal bars, cookies, candies and chocolates.

Cashew Nust benefits

Occidentale is cultivated for its nuts. Botanically, the nut is the fruit; the cashew apple is the swollen, fleshy fruit stalk. The seeds kernels are extracted by shelling the roasted nuts. In production, cashew serves as food. Elsewhere it forms a delicacy. The kernels are nutritious, containing fats, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. In Brazil, Mozambique and Indonesia, the cashew apple is also important; it is eaten fresh or mixed in fruit salads, and a drink is prepared from the juice; sweets and jams can also be prepared from it. Young shoots and leaves are eaten fresh or cooked.

Fodder: The cake remaining after oil has been extracted from the kernel serves as animal food. Seed coats are used as poultry feed.

Fuel: The wood is popular for firewood and charcoal. The residue of the shell is often used as fuel in cashew nut shell liquid extraction plants.

Fibre: Pulp from the wood is used to fabricate corrugated and hardboard boxes.

Timber: The wood of A. occidentale (‘white mahogany’ in Latin America) is fairly hard with a density of 500 kg/cm. It finds useful applications in wheel hubs, yoke, fishing boats, furniture, false ceilings and interior decoration. Boxes made from the wood are collapsible but are strong enough to compete with conventional wooden packing cases.

Gum or resin: The bark contains an acrid sap of thick brown resin, which becomes black on exposure to air. This is used as indelible ink in marking and printing linens and cottons. The resin is also used as a varnish, a preservative for fishnets and a flux for solder metals. The stem also yields an amber-coloured gum, which is partly soluble in water, the main portion swelling into a jellylike mass. This gum is used as an adhesive (for woodwork panels, plywood,bookbinding), partly because it has insecticidal properties.

Tannin or dyestuff: The acrid sap of the bark contains 3-5% tannin and is employed in the tanning industry.

Lipids: An oil, cashew nut shell liquid, is produced in the large cells of the pericarp; it has industrial applications and is used as a preservative to treat, for instance, wooden structures and fishing nets. It is also in good demand for paints, synthetic resins, laminated products, brake linings and clutch facings.

Alcohol: In Brazil, Mozambique and Indonesia cashew wine (slightly fermented juice) is enjoyed at harvest time and can be distilled to produce strong alcoholic drinks. In Goa, India, fermenting the juice makes a type of brandy called ‘fenni’. In Tanzania, a product called ‘konyagi’, akin to gin, is made from cashew apple.

Poison: One of the components of the bark gum acts as a vesicant and has insect repellent properties.

Medicine: Cashew syrup is a good remedy for coughs and colds. Cashew apple juice is said to be effective for the treatment of syphilis. Root infusion is an excellent purgative. Old cashew liquor in small doses cures stomach-ache. Theoil obtained from the shell by maceration in spirit is applied to cure cracks on the sole of the feet, common in villagers.

Cashew apple is anti-scorbutic, astringent and diuretic, and is used for cholera and kidney troubles. Bark is astringent,counter irritant, rubefacient, vesicant, and used for ulcer. Cashew nut shell oil is anti-hypertensive and purgative; it is used for blood sugar problems, kidney troubles, cholera, cracks on soles of feet, hookworms, corns and warts. The

kernel is a demulcent, an emollient and is used for diarrhoea. Buds and young leaves are used for skin diseases. The resinous juice of seeds is used for mental derangement, heart palpitation, rheumatism; it was used to cure the loss of memory that was a sequel to smallpox.

Industrial Packaging

Equatorial Nut Processors export Cashew to various countries for use in the confectionery and baking trade. The cashew nut kernels are popular dessert, generally eaten roasted and salted. The breakfast cereal, health food, salads and baked goods markets are ENP's cashew nuts new frontier.

Cashew Kernels – White Pieces

Grade Designation Trade Name Colour/Characteristics Count/454 gms (1 lbs) size description Max. Moisture% Broken Max%

 

NLSG NLG max%
B Butts White/pale ivory or light ash. Kernels broken cross-wise (evenly or unevenly) naturally attached N.A 5 Nil 5
S Splits White/pale ivory or light ash. Kernels split naturally lengthwise N.A 5 5 5
LWP Large White Pieces White/pale ivory or light ash Kernels broken into more than two pieces and not passing through 4 mesh 16 SWG sieve/4.75mm.  I.S.Sieve N.A 5 Nil 5
SWP Small White Pieces White/pale ivory or light ash Broken Kernels smaller than those described on LWP but not passing through 6 mesh 20 SWG Sieve/2.80 mm I.S. Sieve N.A 5 Nil 5
BB Baby Butts Plemules and broken Kernels smaller than those described as SWP but not Passing through a 10 mesh 24 SWG Sieve/1.70mm  I..S. Sieve N.A 5 Nil 1

Cashew Kernels – Scorched Wholes

Grade Designation Trade Name Colour/Characteristics Count/454 gms (1 lbs) size description Max. Moisture% Broken Max%

 

NLSG NLG max%
SW-240 Scorched Wholes Kernels may be scorched/slightly darkened due to over-heating while roasting or drying in drier/borma 220-240 5 5 7.5
SW-320 Scorched Wholes Kernels may be scorched/slightly darkened due to over-heating while roasting or drying in drier/borma 300-320 5 5 7.5

Cashew Kernels – Scorched Pieces

Grade Designation Trade Name Colour/Characteristics Count/454 gms (1 lbs) size description Max. Moisture% Broken Max%

 

NLSG NLG max%
SB Scorched Butts Kernels broken crosswise (evenly or unevenly)into more than two    pieces and not passing through 4 mesh 16 SWG sieve/4.75mm.  I.S. Sieve naturally attached N.A 5 Nil 5
SS Scorched Splits Kernels split naturally lengthwise. Kernels may be scorched/slightly darkened due to over-heating while Roasting or drying in drier/borma N.A 5 5 7.5
SP Scorched Pieces Kernels broken into more than two pieces and not passing through mesh 16 SWG sieve/4.75mm.  I.S.Sieve

                        

N.A 5 Nil 7.5
SSP Scorched Small Pieces Kernels broken into more than two pieces and not passing through 6 mesh 20 SWG sieve/2.80mm.  I.S.Sieve N.A 5 Nil 5

Cashew Kernels – White Wholes 

Grade Designation Trade Name Colour/Characteristics Count/454 gms (1 lbs) size description Max. Moisture% Broken Max%

 

NLSG NLG max%
W-240 White Wholes White/pale ivory/light ash 220-240 5 5 5
W-320 White Wholes White/pale ivory/light ash 300-320 5 5 5

Remarks: Kernels shall be completely free from infestation, insect damage, mould rancidity, adhering testa and objectionable extraneous matter. Scraped and partially shrivelled kernels also permitted provided such scraping/shrivelling does not affect the characteristic shape of the kernel.