name = Cashew
image_caption = Cashews ready for harvest in
genus = "
species = "A. occidentale"
binomial = "Anacardium occidentale"
binomial_authority = L.|The cashew ("Anacardium occidentale";
syn."Anacardium curatellifolium" A.St.-Hil.) is a treein the flowering plantfamily Anacardiaceae. The plantis native to northeastern Brazil. Its English name derives from the Portuguese name for the fruit of the cashew tree, "caju", which in turn derives from the indigenous Tupi name, "acajú". It is now widely grown in tropical climates for its cashew "nuts" (see below) and cashew apples.
It is a small
evergreentree growing to 10-12m (~32 ft) tall, with a short, often irregularly-shaped trunk. The leaves are spirally arranged, leathery textured, elliptic to obovate, 4 to 22 cm long and 2 to 15 cm broad, with a smooth margin. The flowers are produced in a panicleor corymbup to 26 cm long, each flower small, pale green at first then turning reddish, with five slender, acute petals 7 to 15 mm long.
What appears to be the
fruitof the cashew tree is an oval or pear-shaped accessory fruitor false fruit that develops from the receptacle of the cashew flower. Called the cashew apple, better known in Central America as "marañón", it ripens into a yellow and/or red structure about 5–11 cm long. It is edible, and has a strong "sweet" smell and a sweet taste. The pulp of the cashew apple is very juicy, but the skin is fragile, making it unsuitable for transport. It is often used as a flavor in agua fresca.
The true fruit of the cashew tree is a kidney or boxing-glove shaped
drupethat grows at the end of the pseudofruit. Actually, the drupe develops first on the tree, and then the peduncle expands into the pseudofruit. Within the true fruit is a single seed, the cashew nut. Although a nut in the culinary sense, in the botanical sense the fruit of the cashew is a seed. The seed is surrounded by a double shell containing a dermatogenic phenolic resin, urushiol, a potent skin irritant toxinalso found in the related poison ivy. Some people are allergic to cashew nuts, but cashews are a less frequent allergenthan nuts or peanuts.
Other names include: cajueiro, cashu, casho, acajuiba, caju, acajou, acaju, acajaiba, alcayoiba, anacarde, anacardier, anacardo, Andi parippu (in Malayalam), cacajuil, cajou, gajus, godambi (in Kannada), jeedi pappu (in Telugu), jocote maranon, maranon, merey, Mundhiri paruppu (Tamil), noix d’acajou, pomme cajou, pomme, jambu, jambu golok, jambu mete, jambu monyet, jambu terong, kasoy (Tagalog), and hạt điều in
Vietnamese language. In the Antillesin Puerto Rico, it is known as pajuil, Indian nut in Slovenia, and in the Dominican Republic as the cajuil. The pseudofruit is the main part used as raw fruit.
Originally spread from Brazil by the Portuguese, the cashew tree is now cultivated in all regions with a sufficiently warm and humid climate. It is produced in around 32 countries of the world. The world production figures of cashew crop, published by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), was around 3.1 million tons per annum. The major raw cashew producing countries with their production figures in 2006 (as per the FAO) are
Vietnam(941,600 tons), Nigeria(636,000 tons), Indiacalled Kaju (573,000 tons), Brazil(236,140 tons) and Indonesia(122,000 tons).
World’s total area under the cultivation of cashew is around 33,900 km². India ranks first in area utilized for cashew production, though its yields are relatively low. The world’s average yield is 817 pounds per acre (916 kg/hectare) of land
Collectively, Vietnam, Nigeria, India and Brazil account for more than 90% of all cashew kernel exports.
Medicine and industry
Cashew nutshell liquid (CNSL), a by-product of processing cashew, is mostly composed of
anacardic acids. These acids have been used effectively "in vivo" against tooth abcesses due to their lethality to gram-positive bacteria. They are also active against a wide range of other gram-positive bacteria. Many parts of the plant are used by the Patamonaof Guyanamedicinally. The bark is scraped and soaked overnight or boiled as an antidiarrheal. Seeds are ground up into powders used for antivenomfor snakebites. The nut oil is used topically as an antifungaland for healing cracked heels. [ [http://www.mnh.si.edu/biodiversity/bdg/medicinal/MedPlantsGui1.pdf Medicinal Plants of the Guyanas] ]
Anacardic acid is also used in the chemical industry for the production of
cardanol, which is used for resins, coatings, and frictional materials.cite journal|title=A Nutty Chemical |date=September 8, 2008 |volume=86 |issue=36 |pages=26-27 |author=Alexander H. Tullo |journal= Chemical and Engineering News]
The cashew is a popular snack, and its rich flavor means that it is often eaten on its own, lightly salted. Cashews are sold covered in chocolate, but due to their higher price compared to peanuts and almonds are not as common in candy, except from higher quality manufacturers. Cashews also factor in
Thai cuisinegenerally in whole form, and in Indian cuisineoften ground into sauces such as shahi korma.The cashew can also be used in cheese alternatives for vegans, typically in homemade cheese recipes.
In Brazil, the cashew fruit juice is popular all across the country and is usually consumed with sugar.
Wild Cashew- the species "Anacardium excelsum"
Anacardium Giganteum, also known as Wild Cashew, used medicinally.
Semecarpus anacardium, (the Oriental Anacardium) is a native of India and is closely related to the cashew
Cashew Fruit- Stages of Development
*Morton, Julia F. "Fruits of Warm Climates". ISBN-13: 978-0961018412
* [http://www.organiccashewnuts.com Green Caravan - Fair Trade Organic Cashew Company: Organic Cashew Nuts]
* [http://www.madhulikaonline.com/kaju-based-sweets.html Traditional Indian Sweets made out of Cashews - Madhulika Sweets Online web portal]
* [http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/index.html Fruits of Warm Climates online]
* [http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/duke_energy/Anacardium_occidentale.html Handbook of Energy Crops - "Anacardium occidentale" L.]
* [http://www.rain-tree.com/cajueiro.htm Cajueiro - Tropical plant database by Raintree Nutrition]
* [http://www.cardolite.com/www/cnsl_history.htm History of the industrial use of Cashew Nutshell Liquid]
* [http://www.henriettesherbal.com/eclectic/kings/anacardium.html King's American Dispensatory: Anacardium occidentale (Cashew-Nut)]
* [http://organiccashewnuts.com/cashewresearch.htm Research Paper on the Cashew Processing Industry in West Africa]
* [http://www.anacardium.info Anacardium.info] is a cashew portal with more than 200 documents available. Presentation in French, most documents in English
* [http://www.eastwind.org East Wind Community] An intentional egalitarian community in Missouri that produces various natural and organic nut butters.
* [http://www.crnindia.com/commodity/cashew.html Cashew industry overview 2005]
* [http://www.flickr.com/photos/humanityashore/668159430/ Ladybirds on Cashew Tree, Sri Lanka]
* [http://www.cashew.lk Sri Lanka Cashew Corporation]
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