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Raw Cashew Nut Quality Test

Raw Cashew Nut Quality Test

It is important to remember that the excellence and thoroughness of post harvest handling affects raw cashew nut quality of the product, which in turn affects the country’s reputation for those products. raw cashew nut quality influences the demand for those products on the world market, which in turn positively affects the price based on the quality of raw cashew nut.

Nut count could be used if you have no other means of evaluating your raw nuts, but this does not tell you much about the quality of the kernel inside. It is the characteristics of the kernel which matters for the processor and the consumer.

Processors use Out-turn as a common platform to analyze raw cashew nut quality accepted by all market players worldwide.

In general Out-turn means the amount of usable kernels after de-shelling the nut. It is expressed in lbs raw cashew nut quality, which just means the weight of useful kernels weighed in pounds in one bag of 80 kg of raw nuts.

48 lbs quality and above is standard grade
buyers normally prefer 48 – 54 lbs quality
Less than 43 lbs quality is a poor grade and is usually rejected.

Out-turn is measured by cutting tests performed on samples of raw nuts which permit the factory manager or the exporter/importer assesses the final kernel obtainable from a given lot of raw nuts.

The specialist has some tools to calculate outturn of a sample of raw cashew nuts

  • One scissors specially designed for de-shelling raw cashew nuts
  • One scooper to scoop kernels (could be adapted from a screw driver or made by local crafts men)
  • One electronic balance with a precision of .5 gram
  • 4 differently colored bowls for kernels (green yellow, red, blue)
  • Oil bowl or a pair of latex glove
  • Calculator

The test in done in several steps

  • Taking samples
  • Cutting the raw nuts
  • Grading and weighing of different categories of kernels
  • Performing a specific calculation
  • Documenting of results

Sampling is the most important step in calculating outturn, and it has to be done with all cares and the characteristic of a sample are

  • Sample should be well dried (8.5-9% moisture content).
  • Sample should represent the characteristics of the lot.
  • It should be random sample.
  • Minimum weight of the sample should be 1 kg.

This depends on the size of the lot, meaning the number of bags to be examined.

Lot Size (No. of bags)No. of Bags to be sampledNo. of Samples
1 – 10All1
11 – 100101
101 – 500502
501 – 100010% (50 – 100)3
Over 10008% (80)5

Samples drawn from various bags are thoroughly mixed and then are divided into four (4) equal portions, one such portion shall be thoroughly mixed and a random choice of 1.0 kg shall be taken for analysis.
The rest of the nuts can be returned to the stock.


Good kernels : Kernels with kidney shape, matured and can be consumed in totality

Spotted kernels : Kernels bearing dark or black spots, a part of which can be consumed

Premature kernels : Kernels not well developed, shriveled, light weight, deformed, a part of which can be consumed

Bad kernels : Kernels which are rotten, mouldy and under developed, any part of which cannot be consumed