Leo Lamboni

Improving the quality of cashew nuts and cashew apple products for better nutrition and income in Benin

Leo Yendouban Lamboni  




Prof. Dr. Ir. M.A.J.S. van Boekel, PDQ (WUR)
Dr. Ir. Anita R. Linnemann, PDQ (WUR)
Dr. Ir. M.J. Rob Nout, FHM (WUR)
Dr. Ir. Manuele Tamo, (IITA-Benin)

Dr. Ir. Kerstin Hell, (CIP-Benin)

Project term:

September 2010 – September 2014




Cashew trees (Anacardium occidentale) are an important source of income for small-scale farmers and national economies in West Africa. Cashew nuts are commercialized according to international standards based on size, grade, moisture content and quality. Beninese cashew nuts trade at $650-$850/tonne with more than 95% sold as raw product but prices have decreased in the last 3 years mostly due to non-respect of moisture content and quality regulation. Post harvest spoilage of cashew nuts and cashew food products by moulds has been previously reported (Irtwange and Oshodi, 2009), but few report on aflatoxin and how small-scale producers can prevent their development.

Cashew apples are valuable sources of protein, fat, vit-C and micronutrients, but the fruit is not exploited in Benin with no effort to improve local processing.


This study aims to (i)- collect and analyse local knowledge related to cashew nut quality, (ii)- identify the diversity of Aspergillus section Flavi associated to cashew kernels and the level of aflatoxin produced, (iii)- improve local processing technologies of cashew apple with respect to quality (QACCP) including improvement of nutritional quality.


To improve the quality of cashew nuts and cashew apple products, a diagnostic phase will determine the present situation and following questions are answered: What is the quality of nuts from Benin? What are the quality criteria as perceived by producers? Is this in accordance to international trade regulations? Is the level of aflatoxin hazardous to human health? Also an inventory of the processed products from cashew apple and their processing methods will be made.

Future research

The output from the diagnostic phase will subsequently be used to tailor the next phase that aims to improve the quality of cashew nuts and cashew apple products. Important research questions in this phase are: How do processing methods affect the quality and the nutritional properties of cashew food products? What optimal processing methods will result in best nutritional and sensory quality and improve the availability of vit C?


Gao, J., Liu, Z. and Yu, J. 2007. Identification of Aspergillus section Flavi in maize in northeastern China. Mycopathologia, 164 (2), 91-95
Irtwange, S. V. and Oshodi, A. O. 2009. Shelf-life of Roasted Cashew Nuts as Affected by Relative Humidity, Thickness of Polythene Packaging Material and Duration of Storage. Journal of Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology 1(3): 149-153, 2009
Verkerk, R.; Linnemann, A. R. and Boekel, M. A. J. S. van. 2007. Quality Analysis Critical Control Points in consumer-oriented agro-food chains In: Tropical food chains: governance regimes for quality management / Ruben, R., Boekel, M.A.J.S. van, Tilburg, A. van, Trienekens, J.,. -Wageningen : Wageningen Academic publishers