Size Matters With High Quality Nuts

Here at Caju Company we took a random sampling of our cashews, along with three of our competitors’, to highlight the distinctive characteristics that give our product the edge in quality and taste. This is what we found.

SIZE MATTERS

When it comes to premium, high quality nuts, size matters. Above, you can see the wholesome and hearty Caju Company cashews on the right and a competitor’s on the left. As we recall, the healthiest and tastiest cashews are nationally graded on a scale of X amount of kernels per kg.

Now, again, look closely at the photo. Can you see the excess of salt on the left grouping of cashew kernels? Properly seasoned cashews will not shimmer with salt. Not only does this mask the flavor of the cashews, but also it is a sign of mass production not being able to maintain quality seasoning.

The Caju Company nuts have also been seasoned with salt, but have been done so lightly and with much more care. With the right amount, sea-salt should actually enhance the flavor of the nut, rather than become the flavor. Caju Company’s lower sodium levels also make them a much healthier choice than the competing nuts.

The larger the nuts, the more flavor and nutritional value.

The larger the nuts, the more flavor, and the more nutritional value.

WE DEMAND WHOLE NUTS

Check this out. In order to fill containers and meet demand, other nut companies will sneak in halves, pieces, and broken cashews (as seen above). Maybe they were overcooked, poorly picked, or at the bottom of the pile, but the fact is, these are recycled parts of the nut.

Caju Company hopes to be a leader in industry standards by maintaining a premium, quality and delicious product. To offer halves and parts of cashews in our containers, would be like offering one shoe when we are promising a pair in your shoe-box. These cashews are hand-picked and hand-roasted by our friends and family in Vietnam. We are taking the next steps in quality assurance to deliver only the best nuts to our consumers.

Consumers don't want cashew scraps, they want the whole thing!

Consumers don’t want cashew scraps, they want the whole thing!

Pure Gold

Golden brown. Beautiful isn’t it? Oven-roasted and delicious. Large, whole, not sparkling with sodium. Perfect. The Caju Company cashews have a distinct coloring due to the way they were handled throughout the harvesting, roasting, and packaging process.

The best cashews are a dark golden brown.  Can you guess which are ours?

The best cashews are a dark golden brown. Can you guess which are ours?

Why do they look so different from the other nuts?
Oven-roasted with no oil. Other nut companies use oil and additives to cook all of their nuts. This destroys the natural and gorgeous coloring of the product. Rather than a golden brown, many cashews will turn a pale whitish yellow.

Why does the color even matter?
No oil in our cashews means a SIGNIFICANTLY healthier product.

No oil in our cashews also means a SIGNIFICANTLY tastier product. The oil on the other nuts softens them, and becomes the flavor. Caju Company nuts get their flavor from the fire in the oven, which enhances the natural flavor in the nut.

The easiest way to tell if you are eating a Caju Company brand cashew, is to check for the crunch. The crunch in our cashews is unique and will get your taste-buds addicted after their first handful!

The Winner

What is the consensus? What should you take away from this blog post?

Without even tasting the Caju Company cashews, you can see their superiority over other well-known brands. We are quickly growing, and looking to get our products in local stores near you! So be on the lookout, and keep in mind the following points.

Caju Company

  • No oil used in cooking
  • Whole pieces rather than recycled parts of the cashews
  • Larger than other brands
  • Unique crunch from the oven-roasting process
  • Hand-picked and quality assured

How to Grade Whole Premium Cashews

 

Cashews may not be graded in the same way elementary school students are, but did you know there is a standardized scale to judge them?  The scale was created so consumers and retailers could distinguish between the different levels of effort and quality put into the growth, harvest, and roasting of the cashews. Whole premium cashews are what we at Caju strive for, and here is why!

Top of the Class – W, S, or B?

For starters, cashews can be referred to as W for whole, S for split, or B for broken.  Yup, it’s that simple!  Just remember:

— W cashews are the most sought after and highest quality because they have not been damaged or split.

— S cashews are cheaper than wholes, and therefore are put into less expensive economy packages.  After roasting, splits tend to be crispier than whole, and are usually preferred for candy bars, pastries, and other baked goods.

— B cashews are not evenly cut down the middle like S’s.  They are the cheaper of the first classification, and are also primarily used in economy packages, recipes, or as a simple garnish.

Make the Grade

The next classification is a number, which refers to the amount of cashews per pound.  For example, a standard grade for a cashew could look like: W 240.   That means it is a whole (W) kernel that would produce 240 cashew kernels per pound.

Key point here:  The fewer cashews per pound, the larger the cashews are.  Therefore, it is preferred to have a lower number per pound for the best cashews.

Pass the Test

 The last classification is based on the coloring of the cashew nut.  What’s your favorite color? In descending order here’s how they rank:

— White kernels have a whitish ivory hue, and lack any dark black or brown spotting, making them the purest of the cashew grades.

— Scorched kernels have a darker reddish coloring than whites — due to overheating during roasting.

— Dessert kernels have been obtained by shelling and peeling the nuts, and have all the characteristics of a regular cashew.  Scorched, discolored speckles, and shriveled kernels are permitted in the dessert schedule.

As you may have guessed, broken kernels are the lowest quality and have little to no taste enjoyed by their high-ranking peers explained above.  Broken kernels actually vary in quality depending on whether or not they were broken naturally (preferred), or after the sieving process.

And the Winner is…

 So, what is the true definition of whole premium cashews?  The ultimate grade for a cashew is a W180; in other words, a white, whole cashew that produces approximately 120-to-180 cashews per pound.  This means, the higher the grade, the healthier the nut, the better the taste, the more nutrition within the nut.

The next time you pick up store brand nuts, remember that they try to pack in lower grade nuts, splits and broken, to reduce costs.  If you want to get the most out of your cashews and give your daily nutrition a large boost, then always be on the lookout for high grade, premium quality organic cashews.  Or skip the grocery lines and just order the best cashews right here around from www.cajuco.com.

 

 

To learn more about cashew grading, check out these charts and websites —

http://www.cashewinfo.com/quality_standards/vcgrade_specification.html

http://www.cashewindia.org/php/cepcViewContent.php?CatID=16&type=C#desc

http://www.rawcashewnuts.com/grade-classification.html

 

Caju Cashews Supergood Superfood

It is time you added more cashews to your diet. Premium cashews and other organic nuts make the perfect healthy snack whether you are on the go or want to supplement a home-cooked meal with a boost of flavor and nutrients. Nuts are a superfood in every sense of the word. They are arguably the best source of protein and healthy fats on the planet, with cashews topping the charts as one of the most nutritious of them all. 

Cashews are naturally rich in vitamins and minerals like pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), vitamin c, vitamin b12, and vitamin b 17.  The best part is, cashews are such a versatile nut, that you can easily add them to almost any part of your daily diet; Garnish a salad, throw them in a soup, create delicious trail mix, roast them, or simply salt and eat them raw as a snack between meals.

So why cashews?  The following are a few of the top reasons experts agree on why cashews are the go-to nut besides their delicious flavor.

Increased Cardiovascular Health

In general, cashews tend to have a lower fat content than other nuts.   Of the fat they do have, about 75% consists of the monounsaturated fat called oleic acid.  Oleic acid is commonly found in olives and nuts, and has been used since ancient times in many therapies and remedies.  Today, it is understood to lower blood cholesterol and blood pressure, and even provide a source of good cholesterol and antioxidants.[1]

In a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, researchers also found strong links between the consumption of nuts and lower risk of coronary heart disease.  Evidence from four different studies suggests that subjects consuming nuts at least 4 times a week, showed a 37% reduced risk of coronary heart disease compared to people who rarely ate nuts.[2]

Weight Maintenance

Cashews are a fantastic way to lose or maintain weight.  The secret of cashews, is that their high levels of protein and fiber make them a highly satiable food.  In other words, people who snack on high protein and high fiber foods (like cashews), tend to stay full longer, and end up consuming less calories throughout the day.

Many people may also be concerned about the high amount of calories within cashews.  However, many studies, like one done in 2007 by the University of Navarra in Spain, have found participants consuming nuts twice a week had a reduced risk of gaining weight.[3] Though, it is important to keep in mind, as with all nuts and healthy fats, consumption in moderation will lead to much greater overall health.

High Levels of Antioxidants

Cashews, like many recently promoted “super foods” such as chia seeds, flax seeds, and goji berries, are praised for having high levels of antioxidants.  Antioxidants protect cells from harmful bi-products of regular activity called free radicals.  Free radicals are produced through normal physical activity, and can get to much higher levels from negative habits like smoking.  Antioxidants, like vitamins C and E, prevent and reduce the negative effects of the free radicals in the body, and are therefore essential for good health.[4]

In a Nutshell

Consumption of cashews can improve health, aid with weight-loss, and protect the growth and development of your body.  All you need is a handful a day to change your eating habits and lifestyle for the better.  With hundreds of recipes and brands out there, it is important to find the most natural and pure cashews if you are seriously considering using them to their highest potential.  Mass-produced nuts tend to be cooked in hydrogenated oils which can actually destroy their nutrients and health benefits.[5]  Instead of buying store-brand cashews, look for some at your local farmer’s market or feel free to learn more about our natural, handpicked, and imported Caju cashews at cajuco.com/our-story/.

Cashew Nutrition Facts and Benefits

Overview

Cashew’s scientific name, Anacardium occidentale, refers to the tropical evergreen tree with unique heart-shaped, edible nuts. Originally native to Brazil, it has flourished and are being cultivated across the world in places such as Vietnam, India, and Nigeria. Below are a list of cashew nutrition facts and benefits that allow this fruit to be deemed a “super-nut.”

Cashews have been shown to decrease cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Recent clinical trials have shown them to be effective against diabetes for those who have or may be at risk.

Vitamins

Cashews are also rich in many essential vitamins such as pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), riboflavin, and thiamin (vitamin B-1).
Beyond various beneficial aspects of these vitamins, they are essential for metabolism of protein, fat, and carbohydrates at cellular levels.

Minerals

Cashews are very rich in essential minerals, especially manganese, potassium, copper, iron, magnesium, and zinc. A snack of a handful of cashew nuts a day in your diet would provide enough of these minerals and prevent deficiency diseases.

Cashew nut (Anacardium occidentale)
Nutrition value per 100 g.(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
Principle Nutrient Value Percentage of RDA
Energy 553 Kcal 28%
Carbohydrates 30.19 g 23%
Protein 18.22 g 32.5%
Total Fat 43.85 g 146%
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
DietaryFiber 3.3 g 8.5%
Vitamins
Folates 25 µg 6%
Niacin 1.062 mg 6.5%
Pantothenic acid 0.864 mg 17%
Pyridoxine 0.417 mg 32%
Riboflavin 0.058 mg 4.5%
Thiamin 0.423 mg 35%
Vitamin A 0 IU 0%
Vitamin C 0.5 mg 1%
Vitamin E 5.31 mg 35%
Vitamin K 4.1 µg 3%
Electrolytes
Sodium 12 mg 1%
Potassium 660 mg 14%
Minerals
Calcium 37 mg 4%
Copper 2.195 mg 244%
Iron 6.68 mg 83.5%
Magnesium 292 mg 73%
Manganese 1.655 mg 72%
Phosphorus 593 mg 85%
Selenium 19.9 µg 36%
Zinc 5.78 mg 52.5%
Phyto-nutrients
Carotene-β 0 µg
Crypto-xanthin-β 0 µg
Lutein-zeaxanthin 22 µg