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Research Project: Improvement and Maintenance of Flavor, Shelf Life, Functional Characteristics, and Biochemical/Bioactive Components in Peanuts, Peanut Products and Related Commodities through Improved Handling, ...

Location: Food Science and Market Quality and Handling Research Unit

Title: Nutrient composition of raw, dry-roasted, and skin-on cashews

item GRIFFIN, LAURA - North Carolina State University
item Dean, Lisa

Submitted to: Journal of Food Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/8/2017
Publication Date: 9/26/2017
Publication URL:
Citation: Griffin, L.E., Dean, L.L. 2017. Nutrient composition of raw, dry-roasted, and skin-on cashews. Journal of Food Research. 6(6):13-28.

Interpretive Summary: Cashews are a popular tree nut consumed in the USA, but are not produced in the USA. They are normally sold shelled, with the interior skin removed and oil roasted. New products have become commercially available that include raw cashews, dry-roasted cashews and a unique product that is dry-roasted but the interior skin in still intact. This study is a comprehensive analysis of these types of cashews products including proximate analysis, minerals, vitamins and bioactive components such as phenolics. Cashew shell nut liquid was also analyzed to prove that the products are free of this caustic material. Compared to other tree nuts, cashews have higher levels of sugar, similar amounts of oil, similar amounts of essential amino acids, lower levels of tocopherols, few B-vitamins and higher levels of bioactive components, especially in the skin-on cashews.

Technical Abstract: Cashew nuts are the second most popular tree nut and sales are growing at a rate of 7% per annum. The highest quality cashew nuts are traditionally whole, oil-roasted, and devoid of skins. The recent development of a technique to remove the caustic cashew nut shell liquid from cashews and leave the skins intact allows for the production of novel cashew products including skin-on or “wrapped” in addition to raw and dry roasted products. This study investigated the nutritional characteristics of these newer cashew products. These products were found to contain bioactive compounds including mono- and poly-unsaturated fatty acids, phytosterols, arginine, magnesium, tocopherols, and phenolic compounds. All the types of cashews exhibited higher levels of phytosterols than the amounts reported for other tree nuts. The skin-on cashews had higher levels of phenolic compounds compared to the other cashew varieties tested, indicating additional health benefits of consuming cashew nuts with skins.