Cashew nut trees, even though originally native to Brazil, have spread throughout the tropical world and now, the significant manufacturers of cashew include Nigeria, India, Vietnam and the Ivory Coast. The key differentiator concerning the cashew nut is how the nut appears beyond the fruit. The cashew fruit can also be known as as cashew apple and the nut seems beyond the fruit. So as to finally get to the seed, that’s the cashew nut, these cubes have to be eliminated and this entails systematic processing.
At first, the raw nuts are cleaned and dirt, sand, rocks and some other particles and foreign matter are removed.
After cleansing, the nuts are dried in the open sun, to be able to get rid of the moisture. To be able to make certain that the nuts are dried on both the sides, they need to be rolled over on a regular basis. The drying process occurs under sunlight, usually in an open lawn.
The outer shell of the cashew is very hard and should be softened. This is done by way of the roasting process. Here, the cashews are roasted at a stove, which is supplied with steam from a boiler. The roasting time depends upon the character of the cashew and is judged based on experience.
When the outer shell is softened, it’s cut. The cutting process can be manual in addition to automatic. In the event of automatic operation, you will find special machines that do the job. However, the blade setting is extremely critical, to make sure that inner kernel isn’t affected. The manual method requires the use of either leg or hand operated machines. There’s a greater control in this process and a greater proportion of kernels come out undamaged. However, great care has to be taken, because the shell comprises an allergic resin. This can be harmful, if not properly handled.
Drying in a hot room
Despite the fact that the outer shell of the cashew was cut, there is an adhering seed coat or testa. This needs to be removed. Because this seed coating is tightly held on to the seed, the only way to eliminate this is by drying in a hot chamber. Normally, the cashews are stored in trays and hot air from a blower is passed over them. The temperature maintained is generally about 75 to 80 degrees Celsius. When the testa is softened, further processing is simple.
In this phase, the testa is peeled. Although previously, the manual way of peeling was utilized, this has been mechanized. The most widely used method is to blow off the testa off by way of high pressure atmosphere. This will guarantee testa removal with no damage to the kernels.
Grading and Packing
Lastly, the kernels are rated. The broken pieces are sorted and the entire kernels also sorted according to their shape, color and other parameters. Packing of different grades is done in a hygienic environment and the cashews are prepared to hit the market for consumption.