Our company specializes in cashew processing. Taking out cashew nut kernels intact from the shell and grading them carefully to superior standards required by top food companies all over the world. .
The un-shelled nut is steamed to soften the shell and carefully cut open. The kernel is dried to loosen the skin which is then peeled off. Whole kernels are graded by size and color. Pieces are chopped into required sizes. After final QC including metal detection, they are packed in vaccum for freshness.
The raw nuts purchased from the market or imported are dried in the yards by exposing the nuts to heat of the sun.The moisture content of raw nuts is thus removed and the rawnuts are packed in gunny bags of 80 kgs each and stored in godowns.
The rawnuts are taken for process from the godown and they are steam treated for about an hour and cooled in the atmosphere before they are taken to the cutting tables.When the nuts achieve atmospheric temperature, they are cut by autocutting machines and the kernels are separated.The kernels so separated are taken to a hot chamber where they are heated in trays and the kernels are spread evenly in the trays.This process would take almost a day and the kernels are left for cooling again.The brown skin testa of the kernels is removed by hand/auto peeling machine and the white kernels are obtained.
- Steaming : The in-shell cashews are steamed under pressure to soften the shell. This causes the cashews inside to become loose and easier to remove in time.
- Shelling : Hand operated cutters are used to cut the outer hard shell. In this operation half of the shell separates leaving the kernel in the other half. The kernel is then removed manually by a small tool.
- Drying : Cashew nuts are dried in the sun to reduce the moisture content of the nut and to mature the seed in the infrared and ultraviolet rays of the sun.
- Peeling : Between the outer hard shell and the kernel there is a soft shell. This shell is removed manually by a small tool.
- Grading : In the above process, some kernel are broken in half and/or pieces. Grading is based on size, colour, whole or pieces of nut.
The kernels so obtained are graded as 180, 240, 320 etc., etc. and also as "Wholes", "Halves", "Pieces" etc.While the wholes have high value, the latter have lesser value. The figures 180, 240, 320 represent the number of counts each pound of kernel would have.In other words, 320 is smaller in size as compared to 180 grade.Even though there is no change in taste and its nutritious value. Normally, there is a good demand for 180 count within the country and now at abroad also which commands good premium. Neverthless, others like 320 and 240 also exported.
Our cashews are then put through a set of quality assurance measures heating in an oven, metal detection, dust aspiration and handpicking conveyor.
Graded nuts are packed either in polythene bags for local market or in tins for exporting to other states and foreign countries.
The kernels are packed in metallic tins and before the tins are sealed, carbon dioxide & nitrogen is flushed into the tins containing kernels withdrawing air from the tin and the process ensures avoidance of kernels getting infected by fungus and the gas works as insecticide. Normally, such sealed tins have six to ten months of life before which they are to be consumed. In the recent past, the importers from abroad insist for plastic bag packing/flexipacking instead of packing in metallic tins.Of course, the plastic would be of a specific quality without the danger of causing health hazards.
At our plant we use moulded vaccum packaging.This vaccum packaging provides protection against oxidation, preserves aroma or flavours by retaining volatile components and impedes bacteria proliferation by its virtual absence of oxygen and water Moulded vaccum packaging augments the barrier properties with its unique five layer co-extruded barrier bag comprising component materials which are totally inert and non-migratory. It is pesticide-free,infestation-resistant and contains no preservative and does not require irradiation.