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Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Cashew (Anacardium occidentale)

Cashew (Anacardium occidentale) is a plant from the Anacardiaceae tribe, originally from Brazil. In
botany, the plant was not a member of the  guava group (Myrtaceae) or legumes (Fabaceae), but actually more closely related to the mango (Anacardiaceae tribe). 

As a fruit, Cashew is unique, because the seed is not located inside, but located outside of the flesh. The seed protected by thick and hard outer skin, what commonly known as cashew fruits (flesh) actually only a pseudo fruit, the “fruit of cashew” only functioned as nutrition supplier to the seed. And then what we knows as Cashew Nut actually  is the core of the fruit, after going through several treatment processes.

What is commonly known as the "fruit", actually is the flower base (Receptaculum) which expands after conception. This flower base is green or yellow when young and then turn into red, old yellow or reddish yellow when old / ripe.

The main producer of this agro commodity are Nigeria, Philippines, Tanzania, Vietnam, India and Indonesia.

Characteristic of the tree:
Medium-sized tree, up to 12 m high, with a wide canopy, highly branched, and evergreen,  flexible tree canopy, can be high and narrow, or low and wide, depending on the growth environment.

Leaves located on the top branches. Stemmed leaves, round egg upside down, most of the base tapered and rounded ends, curved inward, hairless, 8-22 × 5-13 cm.

Monoecious, mixed androgynous flowers, gathered in a flat smooth-haired panicles, 15-25 cm wide. Calyx hairy, 4-5 mm. Spiky crown, lk 1 cm, white then red, haired. Geluk fruit is dark brown, bent, lk 3 cm high.

The wood is light brown and low value, very rarely used for residential building materials and home furnishings; although can be used as firewood or utensils junky material.

Kind of sap that hardens in the open air (gum) generated from the injured trunk. This gum good to be used on adhesive book, as well as prevent termite infestation; were also good for glue or plywood frame.

The fruit:
The economic value of this plant is in the”real seed” as the raw of Cashew Bean.  Even though, the flesh that actually is the flower base also consumed as source of various vitamins.  

Cashew color is brown, dark brown, dark brown-black. Hard and thick skinned to protect his core. Hard shell does not only consist of a single layer, but there are two layers and contains a sap called urushiol, which can cause human skin irritation.

What is known as the cashew nuts in the culinary world is actually the seed of the cashew fruit. Before becoming a "nut" raw ready to fried, required rather long process, because cashew can not simply be processed after the skin removed.

The production process of a cashew nut starting from seed drying  for 2 days full tropical sun, outer skin exfoliation, exfoliation of the epidermis preceded by drying and boiling of the content of the fruit, and then draining back  before  the "nuts" are ready to the next food preparations process.

In the centers of production area, cashew fruit pseudo sometimes also sold in the market, the fruit liked by everyone because of the sour taste fresh. The sweet taste of cashew fruit is allowed to be developed as a syrup or fermented to obtain alcoholic beverages such as wine (slightly fermented fruit juice) and can also be distilled to a high alcohol content beverage. Untreated fruit apparent in the areas of production used as animal feed.

Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz) of cashew nuts, raw:
Energy 2,314 kJ (553 kcal), Carbohydrates 30.19 g, - Starch 23.49 g, - Sugars 5.91 g, - Dietary fiber 3.3 g, Fat 43.85 g, - saturated 7.78 g, - monounsaturated 23.8 g, - polyunsaturated 7.85 g, Protein 18.22 g, Water 5.2 g, Thiamine (vit. B1) .42 mg (37%), Riboflavin (vit. B2) .06 mg (5%), Niacin (vit. B3) 1.06 mg (7%), Pantothenic acid (B5) .86 mg (17%), Vitamin B6 .42 mg (32%), Folate (vit. B9) 25 μg (6%), Vitamin C .5 mg (1%), Vitamin E .9 mg (6%), Calcium 37 mg (4%), Iron 6.68 mg (51%), Magnesium 292 mg (82%), Manganese 1.66 mg (79%), Phosphorus 593 mg (85%), Potassium 660 mg (14%), Sodium 12 mg (1%), Zinc 5.78 mg (61%).

Scientific classification:

  • Kingdom: Plantae (Plants)
  •       Subkingdom: Tracheobionta (Vascular Plants)
  •           Super Division: Spermatophyta (Produces seeds)
  •               Division: Magnoliophyta (flowering plants)
  •                   Class: Magnoliopsida (dashed two / dicots)
  •                       Sub Class: Rosidae
  •                           Order: Sapindales
  •                               Family: Anacardiaceae
  •                                   Genus: Anacardium
  •                                       Species: Anacardium occidentale L.