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India: Waste produce puts the cash in cashewCashew apple is often thrown away as waste product after the extraction of the nut. However, there are ways in which it can be used to generate a healthy profit - and with minimal investment costs.
“On average, 35 tonnes of cashew apple are wasted every year. But, we can use it to produce about 8 lakh litres of alcohol worth Rs 1,000 crore. The alcohol can be used as a substitute for oil imported into the country,” said V.P. Poty, principal scientist, CEPC Laboratory and Technical Division to DC.
The apples are first dried, which is simply a case of placing them in direct sunlight. 48 hours later there is no water left in them. There is, however, plenty of alcohol.
A small investment is all that is required to provide a mobile distillery unit which can convert apple into alcohol for industrial usage. State government is looking forward to using the technology for cashew farmers and self help groups in areas where cashew is cultivated.
One litre of cashew alcohol can be made by spending less than Rs 20. At present, under proof alcohol (up to 45 % alcohol) costs around `500.
Cashew apple juice can also be used to make jam, jelly, wine, squash and candies.
The CEPC, in association with the Kerala Agricultural University and Special Office for Cashew, Kollam is organizing a two day training program on Value Addition of Cashew Apple at Cashew Bhavan, Kollam on February 16 and 17 for farmers and SHG members.
Publication date: 2/15/2012
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