What is the difference between raw cashew nuts and cashew kernels?


Cashew nuts have been known as nutritious nuts, favored by many people all over the world. People use cashew as a kind of snack, ingredient for cooking,…However, not all know about what cashew nuts are they using. Whether it is raw cashew or cashew kernel? Raw cashew nuts and cashew kernels are two completely different types of cashew. Currently, many people cannot distinguish between these 2 concepts. As a result, today Vihaba would like to give you detail information about raw cashew and cashew kernel. Hope you can know what is the difference and how to distinguish them.

General information about cashew nuts

                                                         Cashew fruit

While many of the cashews produced for commerce come from Africa and India, the cashew tree (Anacardium occidentale) is native to tropical regions of Brazil. The tree produces a long, fleshy stalk, called a cashew apple, which resembles a small pear. At the end of this stalk grows the kidney-shaped cashew nut that many know and love.

Cashews are a kidney-shaped seed that grows on the bottom of a cashew apple. The cashew apple is a kind of fruit to which the cashew nut is attached. This fleshy fruit has an aroma some people love while others dislike, the most common way of preparation of this fruit is doing a tasteful juice mixed with water and sugar.

The cashew nut is the seed nestled inside a shell that grows on the fruit of the cashew tree.  The shell is toxic, so the nut has to be removed before it can be eaten. This is typically done by roasting the nut in the shell; the shells are then removed by hand. Raw cashews, therefore, are not really raw; they have already been roasted to remove the shell. Cashews marketed as roasted have been roasted a second time after they have been removed from the shell.

What is raw cashew nut?

                                                     Cashew nuts in shell

The raw cashew nut known as cashew nut shell-on or cashew nut in a shell is the name of the cashew apple’s sub-nut. Although a cashew apple contains 90 % of the fruit, only 10 % is a  raw cashew nut. A single raw cashew nut has 30% cashew kernels and 70% cashew shell. Normally, 1 ton of raw cashew nuts can process 250-300 kg of the kernel and 700-750 kg of the shell. \

In the past, only raw cashew nuts and cashew kernels are being used as commercial products in the Vietnam cashew nut industry, and cashew nut shells are considered waste. Today, the cashew shells are used to produce cashew nut shell liquid, a raw material used in other industries, open up a market of hundreds of millions of dollars per year.

What are cashew kernels?

                                          Vietnamese raw cashew nuts

Cashew kernel is the name of the raw cashew nuts after going through the processing of cashew nuts. After peeling hardshell outside, the cashew kernel has been grading them carefully to superior standards required by top food companies all over the world. Example: Vietnam’s W320 & W240 are the most popular cashew kernels, their export volumes increase year by year.

The un-shelled nut is steamed to soften the shell and carefully cut open. The kernel is dried to loosen the skin which is then peeled off. Whole kernels are graded by size and color. Pieces are chopped into the required sizes.

What is the difference between raw cashew nuts and cashew kernels?

As analyzed above, cashew apple includes cashew fruit and cashew nut while raw cashew nuts include cashew kernel as a part. It has a hard shell but cashew kernel is not. Because to become cashew kernels, raw cashews must go through a processing process. Here are 5 steps of the processing process raw cashew nut to cashew kernel

  1. Collection & Drying: The raw cashew nuts (RCN) are collected from the farmers and dried
  2. Steam Roasting: The outer shell of the raw cashew nuts has to be removed to produce the edible cashew kernel.
  3. Shell Cutting: After Steam Roasting is complete, the cashew nuts are peeled off quickly to remove the outer shell to get the inner kernel.
  4. Peeling: a process where the inner shell of the kernel is removed to produce white nuts.
  5. Grading: The cashew nut classification process is designed to classify cashew nuts kernel nuts into different grades for export.

Raw cashew nut after processing will have 30% cashew kernels and 70% cashew shell. 

                                                    Vietnamese cashew nuts

Generally, the processing of raw cashew nuts into edible cashew kernel takes the following steps traditional method: roasting, shelling drying, peeling, grading, quality controls, fumigation, and packaging. All these steps have to be conducted with care to obtain good quality and good grade kernels.

In order to ensure the quality requirements, and avoid contamination of the cashew nuts, preparation takes place under clean, hygienic, and ideal conditions. The following aspects are cleaned regularly: equipment (tubes, knives, etc.), working and drying surfaces (racks, mats, etc.), personnel clothes, and preparing storage rooms.

Besides, our company – Vihaba would like to give you the best quality cashew nuts. If you want to know more detailed information about cashew products, do not hesitate to check out our catalog on the website at vihaba.global

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