Updated: Aug 21
Vietnam has a rich heritage of traditional cashew processing methods that have been passed down through generations. Traditional cashew processing methods in Vietnam continue to be used, particularly in small-scale and artisanal operations. On the other hand, industrial processing methods utilize modern machinery and technology for higher efficiency and larger-scale operations. Moreover, both traditional and industrial methods are utilized, each with its own advantages and drawbacks.
Traditional Cashew Processing Methods in Vietnam.
Raw cashews are known as unshelled nuts. They have a rough, hard outer shell containing anacardic acid, which causes skin burns, itches, and blisters, which is why unprocessed cashews are considered dangerous to eat or touch. Therefore, the establishment of the production process and the finished product must be carefully and rigorously prepared to limit the risks that may occur.
Step 1: Harvesting and collection.
In Vietnam, cashew trees only produce fruit once a year, usually in the months of February and May. When harvesting cashews, in order to achieve the highest quality seeds, talented farmers must distinguish between ripe and qualified cashews to be able to harvest. The collection of ripe seeds and fruits not only ensures quality but also helps preserve seeds and process seeds easily.
Step 2: Sun: drying and removal of the outer shell.
Once harvested, the cashew apples are placed in the sun to dry for several days. The following step is very laborious because each fruit grows just one shelled nut, called a drupe. Workers must remove the husk, or the dry outer covering that surrounds each nut. The most difficult and dangerous step is splitting open the nut because it’s high in tannins and could irritate your throat.
Step 3: Roasting.
The cashew nuts are roasted to deepen their flavor and create their distinctive perfume after being freed from their shells. Traditional roasting techniques frequently use open flames or sizable pans. To avoid burning, the nuts are carefully cooked, stirred frequently, and watched. The flavor characteristic of the cashews is enhanced by this procedure.
Step 4: Grading and Sorting
After separating the raw cashews, people usually have to dry the collected raw cashews in the sun for at least 2 days.
The size, color, and quality of the cashew kernels are used to sort and grade them. Each kernel is carefully examined by skilled personnel, who eliminate any that are broken or faulty. By doing this, it is ensured that only the best cashews reach the packing stage.
In the storage of raw cashew nuts, people often store them in organized packages on numbered wooden pallets, keeping a distance from the warehouse wall. Then raw cashews will be transported to cashew nut factories to be converted into commercial kernels.
Step 5: Metal detection and disinfection.
Cashew kernels before packing must be checked through a metal detector to remove impurities. Cashews are packed in 22.68kg plastic bags of various sizes for sale at the local market and in 11.34kg tins to send to others.
Step 6: Packaging and distribution
The packaging used to transport cashew kernels must be strong enough to protect the inside from damage by external pressure. The use of materials, especially paper or stamps bearing commercial specifications, is permitted, provided that printing or labeling is done with non-toxic ink or glue.
Is the traditional method still effective?
Vietnamese cashews are processed using traditional techniques that have been improved over time to keep the nuts' original aromas, textures, and nutritional content. Vietnamese cashews are of great quality because of the skilled workers and the high quality of Vietnamese cashews. However, there are still many limitations to face.
Labor productivity is low, an average person can only peel about 7 to 10 kg a day, so it requires a lot of labor to complete complex processes like hand-cracking and shelling, making it difficult to expand the production scale.
High loss rate, uneven breakage rate depends on the worker's.
Higher Risk of Contamination: Throughout the processing phases, manual handling of cashew nuts raises the possibility of microbial or foreign material contamination. skill.
What is special about applying industrial processing methods to production?
Additionally, modern technology has been introduced to the Vietnamese cashew nut industry to enhance the caliber and effectiveness of the processing. Let's explore the different cashew processing models employed in Vietnam.
Mechanical Processing Model: This model utilizes advanced machinery and equipment to automate various stages of cashew processing. This method involves the use of automated shelling machines that can shell up to 200 kg of cashew nuts per hour.
Steam Roasting Model: Cashews are roasted using steam in this model, which allows for accurate temperature control and even roasting. Controlled steam exposure improves the flavor, aroma, and texture of cashew nuts.
Automated Sorting and Grading Model: Using computerized sorting equipment, cashew nuts are sorted and graded using this process based on their size, shape, and color. By doing this, the cashew nut quality maybe consistently maintained.
Quality Control Model: Using computerized sorting equipment, cashew nuts are sorted and graded using this process based on their size, shape, and color. By doing this, the cashew nut quality may be consistently maintained.
Vietnam's cashew processing sector places a strong emphasis on lowering its environmental impact.
As a result of its awareness of the value of industrial sustainability, to reduce carbon emissions, energy-efficient technology is used, such as electric roasting equipment. The ecological footprint of the processing plants is minimized through the use of recycling and ethical waste management techniques.
Vietnam's cashew business has seen a considerable transformation as a result of the adoption of these contemporary processing technologies, which guarantee constant quality, boost output, and satisfy demands from the international market. Vietnamese cashews are recognized for their outstanding taste, nutritional content, and sustainability because of a combination of mechanization, automation, and quality control.