Post Harvest Technology

Harvesting of Cashew Nuts

(a) Cashew nuts get spoiled, why?

Spoilage of cashew nuts could be due to any of the following reasons.

(i) Insect attack.

(ii) Harvesting of immature nuts.

(iii) Improper drying of harvested nuts.

(iv) Delay in drying the freshly harvested nuts particularly during monsoon season which results in spoilage during subsequent storage.

(v) Only fallen nuts should be collected, sun dried for 2-3 days and stored in gunny bags.


What is the right method of harvesting of cashew?

Fully mature nuts are to be harvested. Cashewnuts when fully mature look greyish brown. It is better to pick the fallen nuts because there is a possibility of harvesting immature nuts which leads to poor quality kernel during processing. However if one wants to use cashew apple for preparation of cashew apple products one has to pluck the fruits from the tree. One can know the maturity of nuts by just tapping the fruits. If it is fully mature the fruit just drops.


Storage of Cashew Nuts

How to store raw cashew nuts and how long can they be stored?

Raw nuts immediately after harvest are to be separated from cashew apple and sun dried for 2 to 3 days. If the raw nuts are not dried properly, during subsequent storage, they get spoiled due to microbial infestation. Nuts after drying can be stored in gunny bags well protected from rodents and stacked on a platform above the ground level leaving space on all the sides of the room. Well dried raw nuts (moisture content 8 to 9%) could be stored upto one year without any quality deterioration.


Cashew Apple Utilization

What are the uses of cashew apple?

Cashew apples are good source of Vitamin C.  Besides Vitamin C, it contains sufficient quantity of minerals, water soluble vitamins and tannins. Tannins impart astringency and could be precipitated by the addition of gelatin. Alternatively steeping in salt solution also removes tannin. Juice, syrup, candies, pickles, chutney, jams and jelly, could be prepared from cashew apples. Cashew apples are fermented in Goa to produce an alcoholic beverage called 'Feni'. Attempts are underway at the Directorate for developing cashew apple based products.


Nutritional Value of Cashew Nuts

Is it harmful to consume cashew nuts by heart patients?

Cashew kernels are quite rich in fat, protein and carbohydrate and does not contain any anti-nutritional factors. Cashew kernel fat is quite rich in unsaturated fatty acids (olecic acid) which are good for health. Saturated fatty acids are less. Further cashew kernel oil does not contain cholesterol.