Bioactive Compounds from Cashew Nut and Its Coproducts
Cashew (Anacardium occidentale L.) is a tropical evergreen plant known for its seeds that are consumed worldwide. It is one of the most economically important genera in the Anacardiaceae family and is presently cultivated in many regions of the world . World production of cashew nut is about 2.8 million tons in 2005. Vietnam, Nigeria, and India are the major cashew nut producers, with 33.5%, 20.7% and 19.0%, respectively, of world production of cashew nut . The cashew industry ranks third in the world production of edible nuts . Cashew tree produces several products. Cashew nut is the seed of cashew. There is no doubt that the nut is the most important product of the cashew tree. It is consumed whole, roasted, shelled, and salted. Its fruit, also called as cashew apple, may be eaten raw, preserved as jam, made into a beverage, or fermented into a wine . Cashew nut shell oil, also known as cashew nut shell liquid (CNSL), is extracted from the honey-combed shell of the cashew nut and has been used in several industrial applications.