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Re: Raw Cashews

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  • sisterkris2003
    ... both ... 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,
    Message 1 of 4 , Sep 30, 2003
      "Elizabeth Pagos" wrote:
      >
      > Are raw cashews really raw, or have they been heated? I've heard
      both
      > sides.
      >
      >Hollin

      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.
      Here' another:
      http://www.fao.org/inpho/vlibrary/x0043e/X0043E06.htm
      In this article it states:

      MAIN USES

      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.
      PROCESSING METHODS

      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
      the shells.)

      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.

      Kris
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