Our In-House production process ensures Boiling of Raw Cashew Nuts in steam based boiler fired by natural /LPG gas. The proper steaming of Raw Cashew is the first step to ensure that cashew nuts will be white in color.
The raw cashew nuts suns dried and stored in the warehouse are steamed in boiler [without steam pressurizing the cooker vessel] for about 30 minutes. The cooking time is varied depending upon the conditions of cashew nut and atmospheric conditions.
The steaming expands the shell, softens the nuts due to penetration of steam into the shell. After steaming, the nuts are air-cured by spreading out on the floor in the shade. These ultimately harden the shell and make it fit enough for de-shelling to obtain Cashew kernel.
The steam processing preserves the original color of the cashew kernel inside the Nut. The cut shells of steam roasting process yield quality Cashew Nut Shell Liquid [C.N.S.L.] on extraction.
Alternate method is drum roasting. This method enables to maintain the white color of the kernals and also the taste of cashew. But the shell utilisation for CNSL is minimal. The shell in this method can be used as fuel for heat exchanger.
(A ) Conventional manual Shelling.
The Steam cooked and air-cured Cashew nuts are de-shelled by, hand and leg operated cutters. Two workers work on one cutter, one de-shells the nut and the other worker retrieves the kernels from the cut opened shell. A pair of skilled worker normally de-shells about 80kg of cashew nuts in 8 hrs, which yields approximately 20 kg. Of Cashew kernel.
(B) Modern Semi - automatic Shelling.
Our new semi- automatic shelling machine shells 80 kg of steamed nuts in 8 hours blade. The semi-Automatic Shell & kernel separator effectively separates shelled kernels from the outer shells without the need for manual labour.
The kernels after they are removed from the shells have to be dried in order to loosen the red skin adhering to the kernel for easy peeling.
We manufacture and use latest and efficient electrical/diesel/ de-oiled shell cake / wood operated tray driers. This system ensures uniform heating of kernels for a pre-set temperature [70 - 80oC] and time [2 to 5 hours] by means of electronic digital controller and timer. This system reduces the heating time considerably and does not requires periodic changing of trays during heating, as uniform heat is maintained throughout the drier by forced air circulation by means of fan(s). This system preserves the original color of the Cashew Kernel and quality consistency is achieved within a batch and in every batch treated.
The heat treated Cashew kernels are humidified by means of electrical humidifier. The Cashew kernels in trays kept in trolleys are humidified in a closed room for a period depending on the atmospheric conditions and moisture level of Cashew kernels. The treatment time varies anywhere between 15min. to 20 min., depending on the condition of the Cashew kernels and prevailing climatic conditions.
In this process the Brown skin (Testa) of the humidified Kernels undergoes shrinkage due to sudden cooling. This helps to loosen the hold of skin to the kernel without damaging or breaking the cashew kernel.
CONVENTIONAL MANUAL PEELING.
The Cashew kernels conditioned as above is now ready for peeling. Peeling of the Testa is done manually; usage of sharp edges of knife is discouraged as it causes scraping of kernels. Scrapping mars [spoils] the look of the Cashew kernel and is more pronounced after oil roasting of peeled kernels. However knives are very selectively used on a very small quantity of Cashew kernel, whose skin does not peel off easily in manual peeling.
Major classification / grading of kernels into wholes, brokens and rejections are done at this stage. A skilled laborer can peel approximately 6 to 8 kg. in a day.
Modern Semi-Automatic machine Peeling.
Semi- automatic Kernel peeling machine uses compressed air to aid peeling of kernels. Batch type peeling machine gives a peeling out put of 40 kg per hour while Continuous peeler gives an out put of 150 kg of peeled kernel per hour both with 85 % peeling efficiency.
Conventional manual Grading.
The peeled kernels are manually graded in natural light by skilled labour. The Cashew kernels are graded on the basis of shape, size and color. International specification and standard charts for grading are widely followed in the industry.
The color grade chart officially issued by the Cashew Export Promotion Council of India serves as a guide for color grading.
Normally a skilled laborer can grade anywhere between 20 to 25kg. Of Cashew kernel per day depending upon grader’s skill and the size of the kernel being graded. For grading broken kernels into LWP, SWP and BB grades mechanized wire-mesh sieves are used.
Modern semi-automatic grading machine.
The size grading machine separates broken and whole kernels & whole kernel can be separated according to size requirements into 3 sizes at a time. This machine operates on ½ hp motor.
The moisture percentage permitted in the graded Cashew kernel is 5% max. by weight at the port of importation. While a moisture level above 4% at the time of final packing is not preferred as the same may cause fungi and aid infestation, low moisture level below 2% is undesirable as it causes breakage of kernel during processing and shipment. Processors by and large control the final moisture level of kernel before final packing up to 3% by weight.
Cashew Kernel, before final packing, is humidified to increase moisture percentage to the required level or heat treated to reduce the excess moisture to maintain desired final moisture level.
Conventional Tin Packing
The graded and moisture conditioned cashewkernal are filled in 18Lt/ square tins, 25Ibs (11.34kg) to a tin. The Caseewkernal are fed into the vibratory filling machine through a pneumatic Foreign Matter Segregator (PFMS). 8 Tins (Leak tested and Tar weighed) are filled at a time; Filled tins are then weighed for a net weighed of 11.34 kg plus or minus 10gm using electronic weighing scale.
The weighed tins are “Vita Packed”. Vita packing is the process of vacuumising and injecting inert gas viz. Carbon-di-oxide or Nitrogen into the cashewkernal filled tins. The gas infused tins is hand-soldered hermetically using lead free solder.
Two tins are packed in a unit carton and strapped and stencil marked for shipment. The consignment is shipped after per-shipment inspection formalities.
Modern Pouch Packaging system
Cashew Kernels can be also being packed in multilayer flexible pouches; gas flushed and sealed – 25 / 50 pounds net per pouch. All importers in USA and Europe prefer this system of packing.
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