Raw cashew nut is one of the agro commodities needed by the buyer and when it is needed in certain quantity/ quality, it incredibly affects the market price. It is very important to know that there is a simple process that makes raw cashew nut safe to eat and this is because raw cashew contains a substance called urushiol which is found in poison ivy, this substance is toxic and when it has contact with the skin, it causes certain irritation in some people, it becomes safe to eat and sell “raw” in stores when it has passed through “steaming” process. This helps to remove the toxins completely.
Cashew nuts, be they roasted/raw are perfect and excellent for making nut butter, a replacement for peanut butter. Moreover, homemade cashew butter without any sweeteners can be made and used to substitute for cream or cheese. There is also an international standard specification for cashew nuts carefully detailed below:
~Outturns: 45-47 lbs Minimum
~Nuts Count: 180 -200/Kg
~Admixture: 0.5% Max
~Float Rate: 18% Max
~Foreign Matter: 0%-0.5% Max
In Nigeria, 28 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) produce cashew nuts. The raw cashew nut industry is said to have provided a means of survival for over 300,000 families and created over 590,000 jobs. Nigeria ranks as the 6th largest producer of cashew nuts in the world after India, Vietnam, guinea, brazil, Tanzania, and Bissau. Eighty percent of raw cashew nuts from Nigeria are exported to India, Vietnam, and other countries.
The cashew nuts industry yields N23billion annually from the production of 120,000 metric tons of cashew pushing up the sector to shoot up on the list of agro commodities that generate more income and swells the federal government purse and this has helped to make the cashew nuts industry possibly another revenue spinner for the federal government. Nigeria shelters about 15 cashew processing factories.
However, the combined production capacity seems to be a challenge, which is not enough to meet even the local demand. Raw cashew nuts can be used well to put together a nice nut mix, and also go very well with savory dishes. You can always snack on the kernels from cashew nuts, the shell oil has its use- manufacturing numerous materials such as special isolators, varnish and plastic materials, clutch plates, and so on. The dark brown viscous liquid found inside the soft honeycomb structure of cashew nut is what is called “Shell oil” an essential agricultural by-product. Raw cashew nuts are also considered very medicinal.
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