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  Organic Cashew Nut

Name - Cashew Nut
Botanical Name - Anacardium occidentale
Family Name - Anacardiaceae

  Introduction

Cashews are from the Anacardiaceae family. The name Cashew is derived from the Portuguese name of the cashew tree namely ‘caju’ which in turn derives from the indigenous Tupi name ‘acaju’.It is widely grown in tropical climates. Cashew nuts are commonly known as kaju in Hindi. The cashew tree is evergreen.It grows up to 12 meters high and has a spread of 25 meters. Its extensive root system allows it to tolerate a wide range of moisture levels and soil types, although, commercial production is advisable only in well-drained, sandy loam or red soils Cashew is held with great esteem in many customs and cultures.


  Description

Cashew nuts are actually the kidney-shaped seeds that adhere to the bottom of the cashew apple. Cashews are always sold shelled because the interior of the shells contains a caustic resin, known as cashew balm, which must be carefully removed before the nuts are fit for consumption. This caustic resin is actually used in industry to make varnishes and insecticides The flowers are yellowish-pink and fruit is very easy to recognize because of its peculiar structure. The cashew nut shell contains a viscous and dark liquid, known as cashew nut shell liquid (CNSL), which is extremely caustic. It is derived from the thin honeycomb structure between the soft outer skin of the nut and the harder inner shell. Cashew nuts are very rich source of minerals. Minerals especially manganese, potassium, copper, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium are concentrated in the nuts.


   Cashew Nut Uses in Food Industries

»  Cashew Nuts are used in confectionery and bakery products, for example, finely chopped    kernels are used in the production of sweets, ice creams, cakes and chocolates, both at     home and industrially, and as paste to spread on bread.
»  It is used as roasted and salted nuts.
»  As cashew butter has a "rich" flavor, it is a popular sandwich spread, and can be used instead     of the peanut butter.
» It is also used as a key ingredient to make soups, sauces, and dips, which gives the     prominent cashew flavor. This imparts thickness due to its creamy nature.
»  It can also be used to make cashew butter chicken.


   Health Benefits of Cashew Nut

»  Cashew nuts are significant sources of iron (essential for red blood cell function and enzyme     activity
»  It is a raw material of multiple uses in developing drugs, antioxidants, fungicides, etc. It is     used in tropical folk medicine and for anti-termite treatment of timber.
»  Cashew nuts a day in the diet would provide enough of these minerals and prevent deficiency     diseases.
» Due to high calcium level, it promotes strong bones especially in growing children and     menopausal women.
»  It can reduce the risk of getting colon cancer.


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