The cashew originates from Northeast of Brazil and it is understood that Spanish Sailors introduced the cashew to Central America in the Sixteenth Century and the Portuguese Colonists to its territories in East Africa at Mozambique and India in Goa and then the cultivation extended to Indonesia and the Philippines. The botanical name of is *Anacardium Occidentale* The major producers of Raw Cashew Nuts in India, Brazil, Vietnam, West Africa, East Africa and Indonesia.Some of the top countries producing cashews are Benin, Brazil, Guinea Bissau, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Vietnam.Cashew is a cholesterol free nut contains lowest fat among tree nuts. It has healthy fat, good profile of nutrient and good source of Vitamin B – Biotin & Vitamin K. It has performance nutrition with low carbohydrates and high protein. It is very useful for bones as it contains high phosphorus, magnesium & Iron.
Cashew kernels are classified as first quality fancy second quality scorched lightly blemished wholes (lbw) Blemished wholes (bw) third quality special scorched fourth quality and dessert .
First quality Fancy cashew kernels have a uniform color which may be white, light yellow or pale ivory.
Second quality Scorched cashew kernels may be yellow, light brown, light ivory, light ash- grey or deep ivory.
Third quality special scorched cashew kernels may be deep yellow, brown, amber, and light to deep blur. They may be slightly shriveled, immature,light- brown speckled, blemished or otherwise discolored. Fourth quality cashew kernels would qualify as first or second quality, except that they have pitted spots.
Lightly Blemished wholes (LBW) cashew kernels may be light brown, light ivory, light ash- grey or deep ivory. Kernels may show light brown speckles or blemishes on the surface, provided that not more than 40 percent of the kernels are affected. Blemished wholes (BW) cashew kernels may be deep yellow, brown, amber or light to deep blue. Kernels may be slightly shriveled, immature or may be brown speckled or blemished on the surface, provided that not more than 60% of the kernels are affected. Dessert casher kernels may be scraped, deeply scorched, shriveled, deep-brown- speckled, black- speckled, blemished or otherwise discolored.
Sizing is compulsory in first quality/ fancy cashew kernels but is optional for other whole grades.
Size Tolerance: Whole kernels of a lower size grade shall not exceed 10% by weight. The quantity of broken kernels or pieces in whole kernels shall not exceed 10% weight. The quantity of pieces present in butts and splits shall not exceed 10% by weight. The quantity of the next lower size grade in pieces shall not exceed 5% by weight.
A cashew kernel is classified as whole if it has the characteristic shape of a cashew kernel and not more than 1/8th of the kernel has been broken off. This grade may also be designated as W. An excessive number 7/ 8th kernels or splits that detract from the appearance of the sampled lot may be the basis for claim.
Kernels which have been broken crosswise, are less than 7/8 but not less than 3/8 of a whole kernel and the cotyledons are still naturally attached. This grade may also be designated as B.
One half of a cashew kernel that has been split lengthwise, provided not more than 1/8 of this cotyledon has been broken off. This grade may also be designated as S.