How are cashew nuts harvested in the Vietnamese way?

How are-cashew-nuts-harvested

Vietnamese cashew nuts have long been popular to international consumers with good taste and quality. To get a quality cashew nut, it has to go through a lot of processes from planting to being harvested, processed and sold. One of the difficult stages to get quality cashews is the harvesting process. Because it requires a lot of care and meticulousness of the workers. Especially, in this article, Vihaba will show you “How are cashew nuts harvested in the Vietnamese way?”

Vietnamese cashew nuts introduction

                                        Green cashew apples on the tree

In the Cashew nuts Industry, Vietnam is the largest producer and exporter of cashew kernels in the world. Over 65 percent of the world’s export of cashew kernels is accounted for by Vietnam. Cashew nuts from Vietnam are consumed in as many as 90 countries all over the world. The cashew tree is a perennial industrial plant that is quite easy to grow and care for. It is suitable for many different types of soil, especially basalt soil. Cashew is usually only grown in the southern provinces of Vietnam, especially in the Central Highlands, Southeast, and has a few in the West. Currently, the provinces with the largest cashew growing areas include Binh Phuoc, Dong Nai, Dak Lak, Binh Thuan, and Binh Dinh

When are cashew nuts harvested?

When cashew nuts form, they appear growing out of the bottom of big swollen fruit. The cashew apple, isn’t really a fruit at all but is actually the swollen end of the stem just above the cashew nut. Each apple is paired with a single nut, and the visual effect is pretty bizarre.

The apples and nuts will form in the winter or dry season. Cashew harvesting can take place about two months after the fruit has set when the apple takes on a pink or red cast and the nut turns gray. Alternatively, you can wait until the fruit falls to the ground when you know it’s ripe. The best time to harvest cashew nuts about 2 months after the blooming

                                          Cashew nuts after harvesting

When the fruit is harvested, it is traditionally collected from the ground. As it has then fully ripened and has fallen off itself. Large plantations thus use huge nets that are laid out under the trees. As the flesh of the fruit rots quickly, the fruit can’t be left on the ground for too long. Therefore, some cashew farmers don’t wait until the fruit is perfectly mature and pick it from the tree before it is ripe. Nuts that are harvested in this way and then placed on the market are of lower quality.

Step by step to harvest cashews

Like other places, farmers in Vietnam also harvest cashew nuts following the basic steps below:

  •  Waiting for the cashews until the fruits begin to fall off the cashew tree.
  •  Collecting the cashew fruits and cashew nuts.
  •  Separating the Cashew Nuts from the Cashew Apples (Use Knife)
  •  Leave the detached raw cashews nuts in sun to dry, until the moisture of products is 11% max.
  •  Deliver raw cashew nuts to the factory to shell cutting, peeling husk skin.
  •  Grading cashew nuts kernel based on AFI Standard.
  •  Packing and ready for export around the world.
                                                Cashew fruits and nuts

Now, in order to more understand how are cashew nuts harvested, we are going to step by step below

  1. Waiting for cashew fruits to fall.

If you pluck the cashew fruits with your hands before cashews get fully matured, they will reduce the quality of the cashew nuts. So Vietnamese farmers waiting for the fruits to fall into groups and then collecting them. While waiting, they keep the area below the cashew trees well raked and clear of weeds. Daily collection of cashew nuts together with cashew fruits from the ground.

       2. Separating the cashew nuts

Then the farmer used the knife to properly separate the cashew nuts from the apple. While separating cashew nut from the cashew apple, shouldn’t leave any part of apple on the cashew nut head. The quality of the nut is affected when the apple is not neatly detached from the nut.

      3. Dry cashew nuts

Farmers must dry collected raw cashew nuts in sunlight for a minimum of 2 days. Sun-dry collected nuts on concrete floors, drying mats, or tarpaulins for 2 to 4 days. Turn nuts frequently during the drying period to ensure uniform drying. Sun drying is a traditional drying method for reducing the moisture content of RCN by spreading the RCN under the sun.

       4. Storage of raw cashew nuts

Freshly harvested cashew nuts will be dried. Then, screened and sorted according to size. This screening will be useful for cutting and removing impurities such as soil, rock, trash … mixed in cashew. Once sorted, the cashew will be stored in bags and stored in batches. Dried cashew nut must be store in jute bags where they get more air ventilation. Farmers never store cashew nuts in plastic bags because its affects negatively the cashew quality. Cashew nut bags must be store in organized piles on top of the wooden pallets, keeping distance to the warehouse walls. Store well-dried nuts in jute sacks (no plastic or fertilizer sacks containers like boxes, buckets…).

      5. Shell cutting, peeling

Raw cashew nuts are delivered to the factory to prepare them for cutting shells (hardshell outside) and peeling husk skin. Firstly, they will be steamed to de-acidify the cashew shell. This process helps to soften the hardshell of cashew nuts. After Steam Roasting is complete, the cashew nuts are cutting off by specialized knives to remove the outer shell to get the inner kernel. This is a very difficult stage, requiring skilled workers to separate the shell without breaking the inner core of the cashew nuts (cashew kernel). Usually, the cashew shells will be thrown away like waste, but now they are used to make many useful products.

What makes high-quality raw Vietnam cashew nuts?

                                            Vietnamese cashew nuts

The Vietnam Cashew nuts are much more delicious than cashew of other lands Delicious High-quality Cashews Nuts for Export, It Takes Many Factors:

  • Harvest at the right time in the season
  • Well cultivated land, the climate is most suitable
  • Specialized processing method with experience
  • Control the classification process
  • Products are to sell just after harvest

The special feature of Vietnam cashew kernel

  • Size: Medium and Small Size.
  • Shape: Kidney shape with the big round at the beginning and smaller to the ending.
  • Color: Dark skin inner and nice pale ivory color.
  • Flavor: Cashews have a rich nutty flavor, similar to almonds or peanuts. When pureed, it may be hard to distinguish cashew butter from other nut butter like peanut or almond.
  • Texture: Crispy, dry, not rancid & not have a strange smell like mold

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *