Panaji: With feni being granted Geographical Indication (GI) status a few years ago, the ICAR-Central Coastal Agricultural Research Institute (CCARI) is in the process of acquiring an identical status for its “cashew candy” - a dry fruit that they have manufactured from the fruit’s apple.
A GI is a sign that identifies a product as originating from a particular location which gives that product a special quality or reputation or other characteristic, e.g. Bordeaux (wine), Darjeeling (tea) and Tuscany (olive oil).
The cashew apple, by and large, is utilized for making feni in Goa. Senior scientist at the CCARI institute, Dr AR Desai has, however, developed a technology to use the apple portion to prepare a chewy dry fruit. Termed “cashew crunch”, this product is rich in nutrients, fiber, calcium, sugar and minerals like iron and copper.
“Unlike chocolates, the cashew crunch is nutritionally rich. It doesn’t have any synthetic preservatives and has a shelf life of 8-12 months. As a dry fruit, it can be seen as a value-added product. We can help farmers popularize it and can capitalize on it,” said Desai.
He said that the cashew crunch can be developed on small scale as well by using simple kitchen equipment. “Small scale farmers can collaborate with core tourism centers where they can sell these products. In addition to cashew feni, the cashew crunch can bring in good income for the state.”
While cashew nuts are often taken from the state as a souvenir or as ‘a gift from Goa,’ the product is not uncommon in other states as well.
“People, especially tourists, can purchase this as something specific to Goa.” said ICAR-CCARI director, Dr E B Chakurkar.