The cashew tree (Anacardium occidentale) is a tropical evergreen. Native to north-eastern Brazil, the tree is now widely grown in tropical regions. Regular cashew trees can grow up to fourteen metres; dwarf cashew trees don’t surpass six metres. These dwarf trees have proven to be more profitable for growing nuts than the larger variation, due to their earlier maturity and higher yields.

The cashew tree grows cashew apples. These sweet, soft-flesh, yellow or red fruits grow to up to ten centimetres in length. While these apples appear to be the trees fruits, the actual fruits grow beneath the apples: the cashew nuts. This makes the cashew nut technically a seed, rather than a nut. Within its shell, a caustic liquid surrounds the cashew. This makes shelling them quite a challenge.

Cashew nuts are a popular snack and are widely used in recipes, especially in Southeast Asian cuisines. Being seeds, cashew nuts contain about ten per cent starch, which makes them suitable for thickening soups of meat stews. Also, again due to not being a nut in the biological sense, cashew nuts are less of an allergen than most nuts.

Cashews have a far lower fat content than most nuts. The fat they do contain consists of 82 per cent of unsaturated fat, which makes the heart-healthy. When added to a low-fat diet, cashews are a good choice for diabetics.


  • First grade: White Wholes (WW)
  • Second grade: Scorched Wholes (SW)
  • Third grade: Second Scorched Wholes (SSW)
  • Fourth grade: Dessert Wholes (DW)


The size of cashews is measured by the amount of nuts per LBS. There is a distinction of six sizes:

  • 180 (nuts per LBS)
  • 210
  • 240
  • 320
  • 450
  • 500

Other indications:

  • Large Pieces
  • Small Pieces
  • Butts
  • Splits


As the cashews shell contains caustic liquid, shelling it is a complex process. One method is to freeze them and then separate the shell from the nut before it thaws. Another method is to roast the cashew while it still sits in its shell. After roasting, the nuts should be cooled and dried before eating.

Cashews might be consumed wholly, in pieces, ground or as oil. They are mainly sold roasted, salted, flavoured or raw.

Request price


Proximates Units
Energy kcal 574
Protein g 15,31
Carbohydrate g 32,69
Fiber g 3

Total fat g 46,35
Saturated fat g 9,157
Monounsaturated fat g 27,317
Polyunsaturated fat g 7,836
Cholesterol mg 0

Calcium mg 45
Iron mg 6
Magnesium mg 260
Phosphorus mg 490
Potassium mg 565
Sodium mg 16
Selenium mcg 11,7

Vitamin A IU 0
Vitamin B6 mg 0,256
Vitamin C mg 0
Vitamin E mg 0,92
Vitamin K mcg 34,7
Carotene, beta mcg 0
Carotene, alpha mcg 0
Cryptoxanthin, beta mcg 0
Lutein + zeanxanthin mcg 23
* Cashews are dry roasted without salt
"Source: USDA National Nutrient Database
for Standard Reference, Release 26 (2013)"
g = gram; mg = miligram ; mcg = microgram; IU = International Units


India is the world’s major cashew nut exporting country, followed by Brazil, Indonesia and Vietnam. China is closing in on these majors.

Africa has several cashew nut exporting countries. On the east coast of Africa, these are Mozambique, Tanzania and Kenya. On the west coast Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Guinea and Guinea-Bassau.


Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec