Cashew Apple: The untapped ingredient

cashew-apple-the-untapped-ingredient

As many as 98% of the over 40 lakh tonnes of cashew apples produced in the country reportedly go waste. Goa and Kerala are the two states that are using cashew apples for production of alcoholic beverages such as ‘Fenny’ and non-alcoholic beverages and other products such as cashew juice, syrup, jam, candy,chutney and pickles. Despite being rich in vitamins and minerals and good for health, cashew apple is still not exploited to its full potential by developing new products.
Cashew juice increases the utilization of either fat or carbo-hydrates as a fuel. It turns out that it does help you burn more fat, but not carbohydrates. They contain high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin, which act as antioxidants when consumed regularly. These compounds protect the eyes from light damage (which can turn into blindness in the elderly), and can even help decrease the instance of cataract.
Civilizations use cashew apples to treat fever, sweeten the breath and maintain stomach health.  Even the tribal in Amazon used the juice to treat influenza   and   warts.  The proteins in cashew apple help skin rejuvenises many as 98% of the over 40 lakh tonnes of cashew apples produced in the country reportedly go waste.
Goa and Kerala are the two states that are using cashew  apples  for production of alcoholic beverages such as ‘Fenny’ and non-alcoholic beverages and other products  such as cashew juice, syrup, jam, candy, chutney  and pick- les.  Despite being rich  in vitamins and  minerals  and  good  for health, cashew apple is still not exploited to its full potential  by developing  new products.
Cashew apple is a health fruit. It contains Vitamin C around five times higher than oranges. Cashew apples are a good source of iron, phosphorous, calcium. Cashew juice increases the utilisation of either fat or carbohydrates as a fuel. It turns out that it does help you burn more fat, but not carbohydrates. They contain high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin, which act as antioxidants when consumed regularly. These compounds protect the eyes from light damage (which can turn into blindness in the elderly), and can even help decrease the instance of cataract.
It has immense health benefits. The apple possesses anti-bacterial properties and has been proven to be effective in treating stomach ulcers and gastritis. It is consumed in Cuba for treating dysentery and sore throat. The presence of very low amount of sugar and no harmful cholesterol in cashew makes them safe for diabetic patients! It even helps in lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Europeancition and combats premature aging and traditionally the juice are used as a vital ingredient in scalp and hair treatment. Even today cashew juice is widely utilised in the cosmetic industry due to presence of antioxidants and is used in preparation of various creams and shampoos. Some groups use cashew apple seeds as a snake bite anti-venom.
The immense health benefits of cashew apple have been proved by various scientific studies. According to a 2013 study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, men who drank cashew apple juice during high-intensity exercise had enhanced fat utilisation.
Two  studies  in  1993,  published   in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry said cashew apple juice exhibits moderate anti-tumor  activity against breast  cancer and cervical cancer  cells and  compounds in cashew apple  have anti-microbial and anti-bacterial qualities when tested against several strains of microorganisms. A 2012 study claimed that fermented cashew apple juice may be an inexpensive source  of beneficial probiotics.
Cashew nuts are also high in calories.
They are abundant sources of essential minerals, especially manganese, potassium, copper, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium. Cashews are also good in many essential vitamins such as pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5), pyridoxine (Vitamin B-6), riboflavin, and thiamin (Vitamin B-1). 100 g nuts provide 0.147 mg or 32% of daily recommended levels of pyridoxine.
Pyridoxine reduces the risk of homocystinuria, and sideroblastic anemia. Niacin helps prevent ‘pellagra’ or dermatitis.  Additionally, these vitamins are essential for metabolism of protein, fat, and carbohydrates at the cellular level. Along with their general benefits cashew nuts are beneficial in several diseases.
They are rich in ‘heart-friendly’ monounsaturated fatty acids like oleic, and palmitoleic acids. These essential fatty acids help lower harmful LDL choles terol while increasing good HDL cholesterol in the blood. They are packed with soluble dietary fibres, vitamins, minerals and numerous health promoting phyto chemicals that help protect from diseases and cancers. Research has shown that  the wealth of antioxidants  like anacardic  acids, cardanols   and  cardols  in  cashews make them  effective for people  undergoing  treatments for tumors  and cancer.
Market status
India is the largest processor, exporter, importer and consumer of cashew nuts. Cashew cultivation in India is done in 9.82 lakh hectare area. Annual Indian cashew production is about 7 lakh tonnes. India exports 1.15 lakh tonnes of cashew kernels per annum to over 65 countries and is a prominent trader for over a century. Traders estimate   the cashew consumption in the country to be around 3 lakh tonnes.
In 2014-15, the raw cashew import went up by 21% to 9,30,458 tonnes. In the   current   fiscal, the   imports have touched 9,27,016 tonnes  in 11 months  up to February and are inching closer to 1 million tonnes. India imports over 60% of its requirement of around 16 lakh tonnes of raw cashew nut for processing. Higher import has been achieved in spite of costlier imported raw nuts. A major part  of this  good  production goes waste  as the  cashew  nuts  are  processed  and  sold, but  the  apples  are not used in that  much quantity  and go waste.
Andhra Pradesh has taken lead in avoiding this wastage as its horticulture department is planning to promote cottage industries to put the cashew apple to proper use and to prevent its loss. It is taking up activities like organising seminars on viable alternatives for utilisation of cashew apples to create awareness among the farmers. The department would also study the firms in Kerala.
Proper utilisation of apples can also reduce expenses of cashew farming. Even Karnataka Cashew Manufacturers Association (KCMA) has urged the government to ensure that farmers growing cashew realise the commercial value of cashew apples.
Experts believe that the production of the juice will be an important supplementary income in cashew plantations, where the fruit is now used only as manure.  It is believed that the processing of the fruit can make cashew as lucrative as areca or rubber. Cashew nut and apple both are receiving demand in Nutraceutical market. Industry too can play an important role here by developing new products from the cashew apple. 

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