Rock Victoria, a Sri Lankan national, set up a cashew factory in Quilon (Kollam), South India in 1920 for processing of cashew nuts, with Swaminathan as a worker who later became a prominent cashew businessman.
The first batch of cashews exported from India was from Kollam to USA in 1920 by Indian Nut Company, established by WT Anderson of USA General Food Corporation, at Ashraman ‘ground near old airport. The products were enrooted via Cochin ports in boats.
Then the cashews were roasted in pans, processed and sorted according to grade and sizes before being sold to the company.
Packing of the cashewnut has been through the metamorphosis from wooden crates leading to tinplate boxes and now pumps used to vacuum seal the containers.
The Cashew export rose from 45 tonnes back in 1923 to 84, 352 tonnes in 2017, before dropping to 66, 693 tonnes in 2018.
According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) 1 ounce of cashew nut contains 157 calories , 8,56 grams of carbohydrate, 1.68 grms of sugar, 0.9 gm of fiber, 5.17 gms of protein, 12.43 gms of fat, 10 milligrams of calcium and 1.89mg of iron.
In one study botanically cashews an average tropical evergreen tree belonging to the Anacardiaceae familyof the genus Anacardium, reduced blood pressure and raised good cholesterol levels. Potassium, Vitamins E and B-6 and folic acid also helps to fight heart diseases.
Cashew tree is a native to the Brazil’s Amazon rain forest and spread all over the world by Portuguese exporters and cultivated in Brazil, Vietnam, India and several African countries. Cashew “drupe” is made up of outer, hard shell which has a toxic phenolic resin, urushiol, a potent caustic skin irritant toxin which can be eliminated under high flame and thus roasted cashew becomes sae to handle with bare hands.