Re: Raw Cashews
- "Elizabeth Pagos" wrote:
> Are raw cashews really raw, or have they been heated? I've heard
> sides.I've read in several places that the shell of the cashew is extremly
poisonous and cannot be touched, that they must be roasted out of
the shell, also in David Wolf's "Sunfood Diet..." on page 201-202 he
lists "Nuts of all types" as "The best fatty foods" "Except cashews,
which are cooked out of their shell, even if labeled raw"
But that's just one source.
In this article it states:
The main market is as a high value edible nut. Cashew yields
two "oils". One of these, found between the seed coat (or pericarp)
and the nut, is called cashew nut shell liquid (CNSL). It is not a
triglyceride and contains a high proportion of phenolic compounds.
It finds use in industry as a raw material for brake lining
compounds, as a waterproofing agent, a preservative, and in the
manufacturing of paints and plastics. It is toxic and corrosive to
the skin. Cashew apples are sometimes made locally into drinks,
wines and pickles. In some countries they are also osmo-sol dried to
produce a date-like caramel.
CNSL removal - before the shell is removed from the nut the CNSL is
extracted. The traditional method of removing CNSL in East Africa
involves roasting the nut in drums or baths. The roasting process
not only removes the corrosive CNSL but also makes the shell
brittle, thereby aiding the cracking process. This method results in
the loss of most or all of the CNSL. To extract and retain CNSL the
nuts are roasted in baths at a temperature of 180-185 deg C. Vents
in the equipment dispel the unpleasant fumes. This method recovers
85-90% of the liquid (Acland).
The traditional method of extracting CNSL in India involves roasting
the nuts in a shallow pan over open charcoal fires. Constant
agitation is required to prevent the nuts from becoming scorched.
This method is extremely unpleasant as the shells burst releasing
CNSL and fumes with resulting losses (Woodroof).
An improved method involves roasting the nuts in a perforated pan
with troughs placed underneath to catch the liquid.
At a larger scale whole nuts are placed in rotating perforated
cylinders inclined at an angle above a heat source. As the nuts fall
downwards the shell liquid flows through the holes and is collected
in troughs. The nuts are then water sprayed and set aside for
cooling. (Solvent extraction can also be used to extract CNSL from
Shelling - Shelling cashew nuts is unpleasant work and the hands of
workers should be protected. The nuts and the shellers hands are
commonly dusted in wood ash. This absorbs any CSNL remaining on the
shell, preventing it from damaging the worker's hands and
contaminating the kernels (Acland). In India skilled women crack the
nuts. They use lime ash, linseed or castor oil to protect their
hands. They squat on the floor, place the nut onto a hard stone and
crack it open with a mallet (Woodroof).
There you have it.
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