Nothing Nutty About it
Bakery Review|August-September 2020
Cashew nut is regarded as a popular dry fruit with wide applications in food preparations, though it is neither a fruit and nor a nut, if one were to analyse scientifically.
Jhuma Biswas

Both cashew nut and cashew apple are the products of cashew tree. Scientifically known as Anacardium occidentale, the cashew tree can reach a height of 14 metres. However, the dwarf version of this tree, which grows only up to 6 metres, is generally more profitable for the F&B industry, as it has earlier maturity and higher yields as compared to its taller versions. Though native to Central America, the Caribbean isles, and northern South America, including north-eastern Brazil, cashew tree is now seen rampantly across many tropical regions of the globe.

Cashew nuts are produced in tropical countries because the cashew tree is very much sensitive to frost. Cashew nuts are regarded among the highly valuable processed nuts traded in the global markets, though it is not a nut in botanical sense.

Here it deserves a mention that cashew nut, which is used as a sumptuous snack and is also used in myriad recipes is actually not a nut in botanical sense, but is a seed. However, it is popularly and erroneously called a nut. It is referred to as cashew nut in culinary sense.

The fruit of the cashew tree is a kidney shaped drupe that is seen at the end of the cashew apple. The fruit appears first and then the cashew apple appears behind it. Both the fruit and cashew apple grow till they reach maturity.

Within a given fruit there is a single seed, which we commonly refer to as cashew nut or simply cashew. India got exposed to cashew tree and its seed through the Portuguese invaders, during 1560-65. In India, cashew was initially introduced to Goa and from Goa, the popularity of cashew nuts spread across the country. From India, the popularity of cashew nuts spread through South-east Asia and then to Africa.

Vietnam, India, the Ivory Coast, Brazil and Nigeria are the major producers of cashew nuts in the world. Vietnam is presently the largest exporter of cashew nuts in the world.

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Wrap it up!

Packaging has become an important factor during the pandemic. People prefer to buy big brand packaged food products as they believe that these are more hygienic with less usage of human hands. They believe that packed under hygienic conditions, untouched by human hands, these packaged bakery products are less likely to spread the dreaded disease. The manufacturers’ objective of packaging food products is to protect it from spoilage or deterioration due to physical or chemical damage. Packaging, thus, not only ensures hygiene, by preventing tampering, but also helps in keeping the food from decaying. Besides this, it also provides product information and makes it look more presentable and appetizing. Ashok Malkani takes a look at the different types of packaging material available for bakery products and how they aid in increasing the products’ shelf life. New technologies have been adopted to enable bakery products maintain their freshness. He also takes a look at the future of bakery packaging to enable those desirous of entering the bakery packaging field, or starting a new bakery, keep abreast of the new emerging trends.

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