Cashew Grades

There are more than 30 cashew grades; however, the buying criteria vary from business to business based on its application.  The American Food Industries Association has developed Commercial Quality Standards, Parameters, Classification, and Abbreviations to standardize and regularize cashew imports into the US market.  We have put together some key information about cashew grades so you can find the perfect nut for your application!

Cashew Kernels are naturally white or ivory colored and graded based on their shape, size, and color - For example: whites, wholes, scorched, pieces, spotted, splits, etc. Any cashew grade is denoted by two or more alphabets followed by a number - For example: OW 320 means Organic Whole 320. The number "320" denotes that by a measure of one pound in weight, there will be 320 cashew kernels. Here’s an extensive list of all cashew grades and varieties under each grade that we offer through our webiste, www.olamnuts.com

Whole grades – A cashew kernel can be classified as whole only if:

  1. It has the characteristic shape of a cashew kernel.
  2. Not more than 1/8th of the kernel has been broken off.

WW-180 Cashews

140-180 nuts per pound

WW-210 Cashews

180-210 nuts per pound

WW-240 Cashews

220-240 nuts per pound

WW-320 Cashews

300-320 nuts per pound

WW-450 Cashews

400-450 nuts per pound

Applications of whole cashew grades:

  • Natural, roasted, or flavored snacks.
  • Ingredients for confectionery and bakery.

Cashew Splits - A cashew kernel can be classified as splits only if:

  1. One half of the cashew kernel has been split lengthwise.
  2. Not more than 1/8 of the kernel has been broken off.

Cashew Pieces - A cashew kernel can be classified as Pieces only if:

  1. They are butts, splits, and halves.
  2. For small white pieces, the kernels are generally >2.80mm.
  3. For large white pieces, the kernels are generally >4.75mm.

White Splits

Scorched Splits

Cashew Small White Pieces

Cashew Large White Pieces

Applications of cashew splits:

  • Toppings for ice cream.
  • Filling for bakery and confectionery.

Applications of cashew pieces:

  • Ingredient for confectionery and bakery.
  • Ingredient for cereals.
  • Sweets.

Cashew diced/bits - A cashew kernel can be classified as diced bits only if:

  1. For diced bits, the kernels should not pass through a sieve of aperture 1.70 mm.

Cashew diced bits

Application of cashew diced/bits

  • Toppings for ice cream.
  • Filling for bakery and confectionery.

Scorched Whole Cashew Kernels - A cashew kernel can be classified as scorched only if:

  1. It has the characteristic shape of a cashew kernel.
  2. Not more than 1/8th of the kernel has been broken off.
  3. Kernels having darker and reddish shades on the kernel surface.

Scorched Wholes 180

Scorched Wholes 210

Scorched Wholes 240

Scorched Wholes 320

Scorched Wholes 450

Application of Scorched Whole Cashew Kernels:

  • Natural, roasted, or flavored snacks.
  • Ingredients for confectionery and bakery.

Cashew Meal - A cashew kernel can be classified as a meal only if:   

  1. If the size is, i.e., lower size grade max. 10% by weight is <1.4mm.

Cashew Meal

Applications of Cashew Meal:

  • Ingredients for confectionery and bakery.

Please refer to the specification sheet of each grade on www.olamnuts.com to understand the parameters. Each grade could have a certain percentage of damages, foreign material, moisture, color value, and/or sizing in percentage terms. Roasted products also have uneven roast percentage.

For the purposes of  “ready to eat”, we recommend buying pasteurized/roasted stocks.