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Cashews are graded on how white they are and how broken the kernel is. There are four color grades, four styles of break on the kernel and six sizes (or maximum number of kernels per pound)
Classification Method 1 - Classified according to grades / with or without basing on number of kernel per kilogram.
  Cashew kernels have been classified according to 6 quality levels  
Explanation of cashew grade terminology: The alphabets at the front represent a word descriptive of the form of cashew – W for whole, B for Broken, S for Split etc. The numbers that follow the alphabets (where present) usually represent the number of kernels per pound. Hence, to give an example, W 210 implies that it is a whole cashew kernel which gives 210 kernels per pound.
Quality Classified according to grades / with or without basing on number of  kernel per kg.
First quality W210, W240, W320, W450, WB, WS, LWP, SWP
Second quality LBW210, LBW240, LBW320, LBW, SW210, SW2440, SW320, SW, SB, SS, LP, SP
Third quality DW320, DW350, DW
Fourth quality DW2, DW3DW2, DW3
Fifth quality SW2, SSW2, SW3, DW, DWTW3, DW, DWT
Sixth quality CS, SK, SK2, TPN, TPN2, TPB, DW4CS, SK, SK2, TPN, TPN2, TPB, DW4
  Classification Method 2 – Based on whether the cashew kernel is whole or broken  
Plain Natural Wholes - Cashew is graded in three categories based on colour. White Wholes (“W” appearance – white, pale ivory), Scorched Wholes (“SW” – slightly reddish) and Scorched Wholes Seconds (“SSW” – discolored); W and SW Wholes are graded according to size, i.e. number of nuts per Pound; Super Premium – W 150; Premium – W 210; Regular – W 450; Economy – SW 450
Natural Halves - Cashew Kernels broken evenly into 2 parts are less expensive than wholes. They are used in economy packs and also for candy bars, sweets and pastry. Splits are crisper than wholes and sometimes preferred for that reason. The different varieties are: Fancy Splits (FS): White halves split lengthwise; Fancy Bults (FB): White halves broken crosswise; Scorched Splits; Scorched Bults
Natural Broken’s - Natural Cashew pieces are used in economy packs and also in confectionery, pastry, ice creams & cooking; Large White Pieces (LWP); Scorched Pieces (SP); Scorched Pieces Seconds (SPS)
Category Grade Name
Whole W-320 White Wholes
  SW-320 Scorched Wholes
Scorched Wholes SW-450 Scorched Wholes
  SSW Scorched Wholes Seconds
Splits FS Fancy Splits
Splits SS Scorched Splits
Butts FB Fancy Butts
Butts SB Scorched Butts
Pieces LWP Large White Pieces
Pieces SWP Small White Pieces
  SP Scorched Pieces
Scorched Pieces SPS Scorched Pieces Seconds
  SSP Scorched Small Pieces
  BB Baby Bits
  A more detailed version of the above classification  
White Whole Kernels
Grade Grade
  kernels per
  kernel per
Colour and Related Characteristics
1 White Whole Kernels
265-395 120-180 The cashew nuts
kernel should be white,
pale ivory or light ash gray in
colour free from black or brown spots
2 White Whole Kernels



3 White Whole Kernels



4 W280 575-620


5 White Whole Kernels
660-705 300-320  
6 W400 770-880 350-400  
7 White Whole Kernels
880-990 400-500  
8 White Whole Kernels
990-1100 450-500  
Scorched Whole Kernels
  Grade  Grade
  kernels per
  kernel per
Trade name Colour and Related
9 Scorched Whole Kernels



kernel 240
As the grade of white whole kernels
but the colour is darker due to overheating
in the process of oil dressing or dry.
10 Scorched Whole Kernels



kernel 320
11 Scorched Whole Kernels



whole kernel
12 Scorched Whole Kernels


Scorched brown
whole kernel
As the Grade
Dessert Whole Kernels
Grade Grade
Trade name Colour and Related
13 Dessert Whole Kernels

Dessert kernel

Beside the general requirements, the
cashew nuts kernels should have the
chracteristic shape. Shriveled and sparkled
kernels are permitted scorched.
Broken Kernels
Grade Grade
  kernels per
  kernel per
Colour and Related
14 WB

Kernels broken naturally

White Butts

The colour of cashew kernels is the same the colour of whole white kernels.
15 WS

Kernels split naturally

White Splits

The colour of cashew kernels is the same the colour of whole white kernels.
16 Dessert Whole Kernels

Scorched kernels broken naturally crosswise

Scorched butts

The colour of cashew kernels is as the color of dessert whole kernels
17 Dessert Whole Kernels
Scorched split
naturally lengthwise

Scorched splits

The colour of cashew kernels is as the color of dessert whole kernels
18 LP broken kernels not pass through a
sieve of aperture
4.75 mm
Large pieces The cashew kernels are not homogenous in their colour and
could have different colours
19 Dessert Whole Kernels
broken kernels pass through
a sieve of aperture 4.75mm,
but not pass
through 2.8mm
Scorched small pieces
20 Dessert Whole Kernels

Small broken kernel pass through sieve of aperture 2.8 mm, but not through 1.7mm

Baby bits

  Technical Requirements for Cashew Kernels  
The following are some of the typical technical requirements of cashew kernels that are traded in the various parts of the world:
  • The kernels should be dry and should have the characteristic shape. While depending on the grade they can be either scorched or unscorched, wholes or broken, they should be free from oil (CNSL) and the think outer skin.
  • Cashew kernels should be completely free from living insects, moulds, from rodent contamination and insect damage
  • Cashew kernels should have natural smell, and should be free of rancid or any other unnatural smell.
  • Moisture content: The cashew kernels should have moisture content not greater than 5% by weight.
  Cashew Kernel Preservation  
Cashew kernels should be preserved in a dry clean place, far from heat resource. The storage of preservation should be closed, dry clean, free from foreign smell, no insect, rodents.
  Cashew Kernel Transportation  
Cashew kernels should be transported by dry, clean, closed transport facilities that free of foreign smell. The loading operations should be done gently, with care.
  Cashew Kernel Standards  
  Cashew kernel standards have been laid down by the following organizations :  
  • AFI (Association of Food Industries of New York)
  • TCVN 4850 1998 - Vietnam Cashew Nuts Kernel and Technical Request
  • Grade Specification for Indian cashew Nuts kernel
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