The Market for Cashew Nuts in India

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Topics: Cashew
GHANA EXPORT PROMOTION COUNCIL

Market Brief 2005

The Market for Cashew Nuts In India

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THE MARKET FOR CASHEW NUTS IN INDIA A. PRODUCT DESCRIPTION This market Brief covers the Indian market for Cashew nut classified under the code below HS 080131 Cashew nuts (Fresh or dried, in shell)

The cashew, Anacardium occidentale L., belongs to Anacardiacea or cashew family. Other important plants of this family are the mango (Mangifera indica) and the pistachio nut (Pistacia vera). Cashew trees, which may live for thirty to forty years, start bearing fruit in the third or fourth year. They grow in warm regions, with an annual rainfall of 1,000 to 3,000 mm, mainly in Central and South America, Asia and Africa. Native from Brazil, the cashew trees were planted in India in the 16th century to prevent soil erosion. Easily cultivated, they require little care and produce an annual average of 50 to 75 kg of apples and nuts per tree, yielding approximately 3 kg of cashew kernels. Cashew nuts are available for trading from March through June. SHELF LIFE OF THE RAW NUTS The nuts may be kept for about a year provided they are properly dried immediately after harvesting (maximum moisture 9%) and properly stored to prevent mould. Usually the nuts are sun dried and constantly turned over for several days until the kernels rattle in the shell. After drying they must be roasted to remove the cashew nut shell liquid CNSL, which contains poisonous compounds. In India, the traditional processing consisting of roasting the raw nuts, then shelling by hand is largely being replaced by a process of steam cooking the nuts and opening them with manually operated cutting machines. This modern steam cooking method reduces the percentage of broken kernels. Nevertheless, it is difficult to shell and peel the testa mechanically due to the shape of the cashew nut and the brittleness of the kernel. The cashew tree produces fruit and a by-product: the nutshell oil. The fruit consists of two

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