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The Production Process of Cashews: Why Can’t Cashews be Cheap?

AgriSearch: The Story Behind Cashews

Introduction:

Cashews are one of the most famous agricultural products of Vietnam due to their delicious taste and creamy texture. In fact, Vietnam is often referred to as the world’s cashew capital, as it is the top exporter of cashews every year. Cashews have become a symbol of Vietnamese agriculture and are considered a specialty product. It is an honor for us, AgriSearch, to share the journey of how cashews are harvested and processed.

Chapter 1: How are cashews harvested?

To ensure the best quality and desired outcome, cashew trees must be properly grown and cared for. Typically, about three years after sowing the seeds, cashew trees start producing their first flowers and fruits. Cashew fruits, also known as “false fruit,” have a unique characteristic where the cashew nuts are not actually inside the fruit but instead dangle outside. Isn’t that interesting?

For farmers, cultivating and taking care of cashew trees is not an easy task, but it is certainly not too difficult for them. However, the focus of our story is on the process of cashew harvesting.

Unlike other fruits, the best way to harvest cashews is when the fruit and nut have fallen to the ground. Farmers then collect and separate the cashew nuts from the fruit. The purpose of waiting for the fruit to fall before harvesting is to ensure that the fruit is ripe and the cashew nuts are plump. On the other hand, if the trees are shaken for the fruits and nuts to fall, the cashew nuts inside may not be fully matured, resulting in wrinkled nuts. Therefore, to harvest delicious and creamy cashew nuts, farmers have to be very patient. Additionally, while the cashew nuts are collected for processing, the cashew fruits are discarded as there are no facilities in Vietnam to process them. Rumor has it that overseas countries use cashew fruits to make wine, fruit juice, and even cleaning agents, but in Vietnam, no one has succeeded in doing so. I am currently conducting research to explore the potential uses of cashew fruits. It has abundant raw materials with low cost, full of potential, right?

Chapter 2: Experience the Production of Cashews

This is perhaps the most complex process in the journey from the farm to the shelves of cashew products. Each stage in the production process must be carefully followed to produce the whitest and least broken cashew nuts. This process consists of several activities and can be considered the longest and most exciting story. Take a small amount of TKCB cashew nuts to enjoy while learning about the production process of cashews.

1. Sun-Drying: The first step is to expose the fresh cashew nuts to sunlight. They can be dried on concrete floors or on a large tarp under the sun. After about 2-4 sun exposures, when the cashew nuts contain about 8-10% moisture, they are ready to be packed in sacks and stored until they are ready for sale. It is best to pack the nuts when they are still hot and crispy, as the nuts are not completely separated from the fruit during the harvesting process. The purpose of sun-drying is to prevent the cashew nuts from becoming moldy during storage and to reduce breakage during the shelling process. Fascinating, isn’t it?

2. Sieving: For me, the cashew sieving machine is a great innovation for the cashew industry. The purpose of sieving the cashew nuts is to make the shelling process more convenient. By sieving the cashew nuts into different sizes, the cashew shells can easily fit into the appropriate shell-cutting knives without touching the white kernels. Cashew nuts come in various sizes, but the basic categories are A, B, C, and D. Among them, A represents the largest size, while D represents the smallest size. A and B sizes are further divided into A-, A1, A2, B1, and B2 subcategories. Just hearing about these sizes makes us realize that cashew sizes are more complicated than clothing sizes, don’t you think? Therefore, meticulous sorting is necessary before the actual shelling process. Besides, while the cashew nuts are processed, the cashew fruits are discarded as there are no facilities in Vietnam to process them. Fascinating, isn’t it?

3. Steaming: The purpose of steaming is to make the cashew shells softer and easier to crack, while the kernels become looser, making it easy to separate from the shells. Steaming is a simple process: the cashews are placed in a steaming room and left for about 10-22 hours, depending on the steaming temperature. After the steaming process, the cashews are left to cool for about half a day before they are ready for the shelling process. Before we move on to the actual shelling process, let’s take a look at how to select the best cashews.

Chapter 3: Is Cashew Expensive?

After hearing the two stories I just shared, you now understand the complex and time-consuming process of harvesting and processing cashews, as well as the various costs involved. Normally, for every 5kg of raw cashews, only 1kg of finished cashew kernels can be obtained. All the difficulties from harvesting to production result in a relatively high cost for cashews. However, the price of cashews varies depending on the market. Compared to other nuts such as peanuts and sunflower seeds, cashews are indeed more expensive. However, if we compare cashews to common snacks, they are relatively affordable. Currently, the price of TKCB cashew kernels is 129,000 VND per 500g. With a recommended daily intake of 28g of cashews by nutritionists, you can enjoy cashews for 17 days. It costs only VND 7,500 for a nutritious and healthy snack, which is cheaper than a cup of bubble tea or a cup of coffee, right?

Conclusion:

Cashews are undoubtedly a valuable agricultural product that undergoes a complex and intricate process before reaching consumers. The cost and effort involved in harvesting and processing cashews contribute to their relatively higher price compared to other nuts. However, considering the potential health benefits and the labor-intensive production process, cashews can be seen as an affordable and nutritious snack option. As AgriSearch, we are proud to be a part of the journey to provide consumers with the best quality, safest, and most nutritious cashew products. Indulge in the experience of cashews, and be sure to choose TKCB for the finest cashews.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why is Vietnam known as the cashew capital of the world?
– Vietnam is known as the cashew capital of the world because it is the top exporter of cashew nuts globally.

2. Why is Vietnam not a significant consumer of cashew nuts?
– Vietnam is not a significant consumer of cashew nuts because the people are not fully aware of the nutritional value of cashews and the cost of cashews in Vietnam is not as affordable as in Western countries.

3. How are cashews harvested in Vietnam?
– Cashews are harvested by waiting for the fruits to fall from the trees. The nuts are then picked and separated from the fruit.

4. What is the price range of fresh cashews in 2020?
– The price range of fresh cashews in 2020 is approximately 17,000 – 27,000 VND per kilogram.

5. What is the process of cashew production in Vietnam?
– The process of cashew production in Vietnam includes harvesting, drying, shelling, and grading the cashews before packaging and distribution.

Emilia Chaney
Emilia Chaneyhttps://agrisearch.net
My name is Emilia Chaney. I'm a social girl from Romania with a big smile and 3 passions: Agriculture, Travel and Social Media. I try to make this blog practical, full of great advice and inspiring ideas.

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