The following requirements are extracted from the UNECE Standard DDP-17 concerning the marketing and commercial quality control of Cashew Kernels, which was created by the Specialized Section on Standardization of Dry and Dried Produce of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) with the help and recommendations of the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council (INC) and the supervision and approval of the main producing countries.

Forms

The following forms and specifications are included in the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Standard DDP-17 concerning the marketing and commercial quality control of cashew kernels, edition 2013.

Whole Kernels

Natural, roasted or flavored snacks
Ingredient for confectionary and bakery

Pieces

Ingredient for confectionary and bakery
Ingredient for cereals
Sweets

Diced/Baby Bits

Ingredient for cereals
Filling for bakery and confectionary
Toppings for ice cream

Flour/Meal

Cashew paste or butter
Indian curry, bakery and confectionary

Cashew Based Beverage

Standards & Grades

Cashew kernels are graded on the basis of their size, shape, and color. Kernels shall have been obtained through roasting, shelling, and peeling cashew nuts (Anacardium occidentale L.).

Quality

Kernels shall be completely free from infestation or living pests, molds, insect damage, rotting, deterioration, mold rancidity, adhering testa, and objectionable extraneous or foreign matter. Scraped and partially shrivelled kernels also permitted provided such scraping/shriveling does not affect the characteristic shape of the kernel.

Classification

Cashew kernels are classified into the following classes:

  • "Extra" Class
  • Class I
  • Class II

Classification

Class Comercial designation Description
Extra "white" white, pale ivory, pale ash - grey light yellow.
Class I "scorched" or "lightly blemished" light brown, light ivory, light ashgrey, deep ivory, yellow.
Class II "scorched seconds" or "dessert" light brown, amber, light blue, deep brown, deep blue discolored, black spotted, immature, lemished and stained kernels are permitted.

Provisions Concerning Sizing

Sizing is compulsory in "Extra Class", but optional for "Class I" and "Class II". Designation of size is as follows:

Whole
Size code or count Maximum number of kernels per pound Maximum number of kernels per kilogram
150 150 325
180 180 395
210 210 465
240 240 530
320 320 706
450 450 990
500 500 1100

Large pieces

Not passing through a sieve of aperture 4.75 mm.

Small pieces

Not passing through a sieve of aperture 2.80 mm.

Very small pieces

Not passing through a siave of aperture 2.36 mm.

"Baby bites" or granules

Not passing a siave of aperture 1.70 mm.

Quality tolerances

Tolerances allowed, percentage of defective produce by number or weight:

  Defects allowed Extra Class I Class II
A Tolerance for cashew kernels not satisfying the minimum requirements of which no more than: 6 9 12
Not sufficiently developed, shrunken or shrivelled 1 2 Not applicable
Moldy, rancid, decay 0,5 1 1
Damage by pests 0,5 1 1
Living pests 0 0 0
Superficial damage (whole kernels only) 1 2 5
B Size Tolerance, if sized for produce not conforming to the size indicated, in total: - - -
Wholes (by number) 10 10 10
Pieces (by weight) (smaller sizes) 10 10 10
C Tolerance for other defects - - -
Broken Kernels (butts, splits, and pieces) in wholes 10 10 10
Kernels of a color of the next lower class 5 5 not applicable
Pieces in butts/splits 10 10 10
Kernels of a color of the next lower class 5 5 not applicable
Foreign matter, loose shell fragments, loose testa fragments, dust (by weight) 0.1 0.1 0.1

If you want to see more detailed standards, grades and forms please download the Global Cashew Council Technical Information Kit.