Rich in “heart-friendly” monounsaturated-fatty acids, the highly energetic cashew nuts are one of the popular edible nuts and a largely used ingredient in savoury dishes, drinks and industrial chemical derivatives worldwide.
The nuts have a high content of fibres, essential vitamins (B1, B5, B6 and riboflavin, pyridoxine, niacin), minerals (zinc, selenium, copper) and antioxidants that help protecting from diseases. The processing of nut shells to edible cashew produce the by-product cashew nutshell liquid (CNSL, or cashew shell oil) used as raw material in the manufacture of drugs, antioxidants, fungicides and pesticides, as well as bio-based chemical resins, stabilizers, lubricants, diesel engine fuel alternatives, anticorrosive paints, abrasives, adhesives, etc.
Cashew tree bears also edible false fruits – the cashew apples used for the manufacture of beverages.
Cultivation, processing and trade in cashew nut products contribute to the socio-economic development of a number of developing countries.
Cashew sector at a glance