Cashew.in - The Cashew Nut WWW Database
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Cashew.in - The Cashew Nut WWW Database
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General Cashew Info
Cashews originate as cashew fruits; the shell of the fruit is taken off and the thin skin peeled off from the nut inside before we get the kernels we call cashew nuts. Thus, raw cashews refer to the cashew fruits as they appear on the trees, and the proper term for cashew nuts is cashew kernels (cashew nuts should do as well).
The shell that is taken off from the fruit can be used as well – to produce what is called CNSL (for cashew nut shell liquid), a liquid that is used in a variety of industries for resin & chemicals (cardanol, residol, cardol & anacardic acid) that are derived from it. A less valuable use of the shell is as a fuel.
In rare cases, oil is also be derived from the cashew kernel (as opposed to the liquid derived from the shell). This oil, called cashew oil, is edible. CNSL is not, it is poisonous.
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Sections @ Cashew.in
Equivalent Names: acajou, acaju, acajaiba, acajuiba, alcayoiba, anacarde, anacardier, anacardo, cajou, cajueiro, caju, cacajuil, cashew, cashu, casho, gajus, jambu golok, jambu mete, jambu monyet, jambu terong, jocote maranon, merey, noix d’acajou, pomme cajou
Synonyms: Acajuba occidentalis, Anacardium microcarpum, Cassuvium pomiverum
See some pictures of cashews:
Some lovely high res pictures of shelled cashews from Purdue University web site
See a high resolution picture of a cashew fruit with its shell from this Cornell University web page (another from here, here & here)
See a small picture of a cashew seedling from here
Photo of a Brazilian cashew
Major Producers of Raw Nuts: India, Brazil, Vietnam, West Africa and East Africa
The Top 14 Countries Producing Cashew Nuts (in alphabetical order): Benin, Brazil, Ivory Coast, Guinea-Bissau, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Vietnam, Pakistan
Global Scenario & World Raw Cashew Nut (RCN) Availability - Cashew production takes place mainly in the Central and South American Zone, Asia and Oceanic Zone and African Zones. The major exporters are India, Vietnam and Brazil. The major importing nations are USA, Europe, China, West Asia. India is the largest producer, processor and exporter of Cashew in the world. India is the third largest consumer of cashew nuts in the world. Tanzania loses enormous export value every year by exporting unprocessed cashew nuts. It exports more than 90% of its total cashew production to India in the raw form. Tanzania and Guinea-Bissau are the largest producers of cashew nuts in Africa, each accounting for 8% of the world's production.
Cashew Characteristics – Cashew ranks third in the world’s production of edible tree nuts. Cashews are traded as cashew kernels in several grades, based on the size, colour and other quality parameters of cashew. The cashew kernels have the following characteristics – Nutritive (containing 45% fat and 20% protein), Antiseptic, Antibacterial, Anti-fungal, Anti-parasitic, Caustic (the oil between the outer and inner shell), & Purgative (roots)
The most popular use of cashew is in the form of its edible nut. Many food companies are discovering the versatility of the nut as a snack or ingredient.
A Premium Snack: Natural, Roasted or coated with spices, chocolate, yogurt or honey
A Distinctive Garnish: Cashew splits are embedded in pastry and many oriental sweets
The Nutty Ingredient in Confectionery: The texture and flavor of dry-roasted cashew in ice creams and chocolates is unmistakable
Curries etc: Cashew flour and paste are used in most Asian sweets and gravies
Natural Diced Cashew - These are ideal for use in confectionery, bakery and cooking. The sizes vary from 2-8 mm.
Dry Roasted Diced Cashew - Dry Roasting enhances the delicate flavor of cashew and makes it more suitable for ice cream, chocolate and candy.
Oil Roasted Cashew - The biggest use of cashew is as oil – roasted snack. They are a healthy and premium alternative to common snacks.
Cashew – Other Uses
Outside of its edible nuts, the other most common uses of cashew are as follows
Medicine - In tropical regions, cashew oil is used to treat ailments such as scurvy, warts and ringworm. The root has been used as a purgative. The leaves of the tree have been used as folk remedies for calcium deficiency and intestinal colic, while cashew resins were used as an expectorant and cough remedy.
Food & Drink - Everyone knows that cashew nuts are consumed for food, but cashew wine, which is made from the cashew apple, is a very popular drink in West Africa.
Vitamins - Cashew nuts are good sources of protein, mineral salt, iron and fiber. The leaves from the cashew tree can provide vitamin C, calcium and iron.
Boats - The wood of a cashew tree is water resistant and is used in constructing boats and ferries.
Insect Repellent - Cashew resins are also used in the manufacture of insect repellent and natural insecticides.
Cashew Nut Shell Liquid - Cashew nut shell liquid (CNSL) is an important industrial raw material for resin manufacture and the shells can be burned to provide heat for the decorticating operations. The liquid contained within the shell casing of the cashew, known as Cashew Nutshell Liquid (CNSL) has a variety of industrial uses which were first developed in the 1930s. CNSL is fractionated in a process similar to the distillation of petroleum, and has two primary end products; solids that are pulverized and used as friction particle for brake linings, and an amber colored liquid that is aminated to create phenalkamine curing agents and resin modifiers. Phenalkamines are primarily used in epoxy coatings for the marine and flooring markets, as they have intense hydrophobic properties and are capable of remaining chemically active at low temperatures
Pharmacological uses - In external applications, cashew nut oil is used
More general info on cashew from the following online resources
Cashews Nutrition Facts
The links provided in this section should give you a good idea of the nutritional aspects of cashew kernels
Cashew around the World
Cashew Kernel Characteristics from Various Countries
The Brazilian cashews are the largest, softest and whitest of all. Some find them sweeter or richer in taste. Health food stores love large, white Brazilian cashews. Indian cashews are more ivory in color. Cashews from India are smaller and much more crisp; they can be sweet, but sometimes they can also be bland. Vietnam cashew pieces are quite sweet.
Cashew nuts are typically grown in the tropics. Hence you will find countries such as India, Brazil, Vietnam and some African countries contributing significantly to the cashew production.
Cashew Producing & Exporting Countries
The main raw cashew producing countries are: India, Brazil, Vietnam, Mozambique, Benin, Guinea Bissau. Other countries include Tanzania, Nigeria Kenya, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Pakistan
More web resources for each country follow
India Cashew & Agri Industry
Brazil Cashew & Agri Industry
Vietnam Cashew & Agri Industry
Mozambique Cashew & Agri Industry
Support Program for Cashew Processing Sub-sector in Mozambique (MS Word format)
Tanzania’s Cashew & Agri Industry
Tanzania’s Cashew Sector (PDF)
Sri Lanka Cashew & Agri Industry
Benin Cashew & Agri Industry
Philippines Cashew & Agri Industry
Ivory Coast Cashew & Agri Industry
Guinea-Bissau Cashew & Agri Industry
Kenya Cashew & Agri Industry
Indonesia Cashew & Agri Industry
Malaysia Cashew & Agri Industry
Thailand Cashew & Agri Industry
Pakistan Cashew & Agri Industry
Nigeria Cashew & Agri Industry
Cashew Cultivation & Processing
If you wish to grow cashews or you already are a cashew farmer, this section could be of use to you - Cultivating Cashewnut – from the South African Department of Agriculture, Growing Cashews – Common Questions, Growing Cashews – Before You Start, Cashew Cultivation Manual, Enterprise Works Worldwide – Cashew Processing (PDF)
The following web links provide more details about the raw cashew fruit. The Cashew Apple in Florida (PDF), Raw Cashew Nuts – Are They Really Raw – from Living & Raw Foods, What Is A Cashew Apple?
Cashew Processing – Processing of raw cashew nuts to finished products
The following are the main processing stages for cashews – (1) Roasting, (2) Shelling, (3) Drying, (4) Peeling, (5) Grading, (6) Filling, (7) Packing
The stages involved in cashew processing are:
There could be other processes downstream, when more value addition takes place – salting, roasting of the nuts, addition of these nuts into various snacks etc. More links on cashew processing: Cashew Nut Processing (PDF File), Fertilizer Use Manual for Cashew, Small-scale Cashew Nut Processing – from FAO
As with other nuts, the cashew kernel contains a fixed oil resembling almond oil. This is termed cashew oil or anacardic oil. Ambiguity may arise between the use of the terms cashew oil and cashew nut shell liquid. In fact many times cashew nut shell liquid is (wrongly) called cashew oil.
The so-called "cashew apple" is a pseudofruit, because it is only the swollen stalk of the true fruit. The true fruit is the cashew nut. See also: Cashew Apple Details from Purdue, Cashew from Wikipedia
Cashew trees flower once a year. The flowers are small, white or red in colour, and grow in clusters. Pollinated flowers develop into a light green kidney-bean shaped seed. The stalk that bears the flower, which is thin in the beginning, doesn’t remain thin for long, and develops into a pear-shaped cashew apple within a month and ripens to a bright yellow or red color – Flower Visitors and Fruitset of Anacardium occidentale (PDF)
If you are the faint-hearted, thin twice before venturing into the crazy world of cashew trading. Cashew kernel (and to some extent raw cashew) prices are some of the most volatile you would ever see in commodity prices. More info in the following links: Growing Cashews – Before you Start, Cashew Nut Market Worldwide
CNSL, Cardanol, Residol, Cardol…
This is not for the ordinary you and me, who would rather just eat cashews than research the science behind it. But there are bright folks out there who would like to know everything about the how and why of cashew. This section is for them.
Cashew & Society
When you have nuts as delicious as cashews, you can be sure that there will be a festival dedicated to it. Here we go with links for cashew in the society: Crooked Tree Cashew Festival – Belize, Corporate Responsibility & Women’s Employment – the Cashew Nut Case (PDF), Liberalisation, Gender & Livelihood – The Cashewnut Case (PDF)
More Cashew Stuff
Interesting Cashew Related News Items
Cashew Grades & Classification
Cashews are graded on how white they are and how broken the kernel is. There are four color grades, four styles of break on the kernel and six sizes (or maximum number of kernels per pound)
Classification Method 1 - Classified according to grades / with or without basing on number of kernel per kg.
Cashew kernels have been classified according to 6 quality levels
Explanation of cashew grade terminology: The alphabets at the front represent a word descriptive of the form of cashew – W for whole, B for Broken, S for Split etc. The numbers that follow the alphabets (where present) usually represent the number of kernels per pound. Hence, to give an example, W 210 implies that it is a whole cashew kernel which gives 210 kernels per pound.
Classification Method 2 – Based on whether the cashew kernel is whole or broken
Plain Natural Wholes - Cashew is graded in three categories based on colour. White Wholes (“W” appearance – white, pale ivory), Scorched Wholes (“SW” – slightly reddish) and Scorched Wholes Seconds (“SSW” – discolored); W and SW Wholes are graded according to size, i.e. number of nuts per Pound; Super Premium – W 150; Premium – W 210; Regular – W 450; Economy – SW 450
Natural Halves - Cashew Kernels broken evenly into 2 parts are less expensive than wholes. They are used in economy packs and also for candy bars, sweets and pastry. Splits are crisper than wholes and sometimes preferred for that reason. The different varieties are: Fancy Splits (FS): White halves split lengthwise; Fancy Bults (FB): White halves broken crosswise; Scorched Splits; Scorched Bults
Natural Broken’s - Natural Cashew pieces are used in economy packs and also in confectionery, pastry, ice creams & cooking; Large White Pieces (LWP); Scorched Pieces (SP); Scorched Pieces Seconds (SPS)
A more detailed version of the above classification
Technical Requirements for Cashew Kernels
The following are some of the typical technical requirements of cashew kernels that are traded in the various parts of the world:
Cashew Kernel Preservation
Cashew kernels should be preserved in a dry clean place, far from heat resource. The storage of preservation should be closed, dry clean, free from foreign smell, no insect, rodents.
Cashew Kernel Transportation
Cashew kernels should be transported by dry, clean, closed transport facilities that free of foreign smell. The loading operations should be done gently, with care.
Cashew Kernel Standards
Cashew kernel standards have been laid down by the following organizations:
Cashew.in provides directory and web links resources for cashew nuts, cashew kernels & cashew products. It is intended to be useful for research and information as well as for buyers, sellers, manufacturers, traders, suppliers, producers, exporters and importers. It will make an effort to provide cashewnut info and link, details on production and uses of cashews, and cashew nut trade & market resources, data, statistics such as price, prices, demand-supply for buyer, seller, manufacturer, trader, supplier, exporter and producer of cashew kernel and cashewnuts.
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