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POTENTIAL TO IMPROVE ECONOMIC VALUE OF CASHEW SHELLS

|December 20th, 2023

Vietnam's cashew industry in general and the cashew capital of Binh Phuoc in particular have been making great strides. The cashew processing industry has produced dozens of products, including additives for making confectionery, milk, etc.

The hard shell of cashew nuts has also been used by some businesses as a raw material to create cashew oil. However, cashew nut shells have not been fully utilized. As the cashew capital, Binh Phuoc accounts for more than 40% of the country's total raw cashew output. Binh Phuoc's cashew businesses mostly focus on developing cashew processing, the shell is rarely utilized. In this province alone, it is estimated that more than 1,000 tons of cashew shells are produced each year.


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Faced with this situation, Binh Phuoc province has organized many seminars and meetings to select scientific topics to find a way out for cashew nut shells; Increase the economic value of the product. This year, the Department of Science and Technology of Binh Phuoc province coordinated with the Ho Chi Minh City Biotechnology Center to implement the scientific project "Research on the extraction and collection of extracts rich in catechin derivatives with biological activity from waste cashew shells in Binh Phuoc, application to create functional products".

The project's author group will apply cashew silk shells in the direction of medical, pharmaceutical and cosmetic technology to enhance the value of cashew trees. Thereby creating more income for businesses as well as cashew farmers. Further, it brings economic efficiency to the locality in the cashew industry. Scientists and council members highly appreciated the novelty and feasibility of the topic when applied in practice. However, it is necessary to develop a specific extraction process. Besides, the formula ingredients of the finished product must be given.

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Mr. Nguyen Hoang Dat - vice president of Binh Phuoc Cashew Association - said that currently, most businesses processing raw cashews and finished cashew products do not salvage cashew shells. Instead, businesses and factories will sell this by-product to a third party to make pellets, fuel, etc. The price of raw cashew shells is quite high, sometimes reaching 3,000 - 4,000 VND/kg. If businesses can do their own deep processing and create high-value products, it will be very beneficial for businesses, workers and farmers.

"We are ready to embark on deep processing and application of cashew shells to create products if technology is transferred systematically. Most members of the cashew association and cooperatives in the province want to be able to produce and process cashew kernels as well as by-products themselves. However, we need coordination and linkage to ensure the correct technology transfer, standard input materials as well as finding an outlet for the product" Mr. Dat shared.
In some countries around the world, cashew nut shells are used in the production of dyes, pigments and some types of paint, as tablets, fuel...
 Cashew nut shells are also used as food for cattle and poultry due to their low price, and they still have some necessary nutritional ingredients for buffaloes and cows... In addition, this material is also used as one of the additives to make organic fertilizer for plants. In Vietnam, most silk bark is used as fuel or discarded; only a few applications as fertilizer. These methods make the economic value of cashew nut shells low and easily cause environmental pollution.

According to Vinacas.com

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