The quality specifications for Brazilian cashews are as given by the Association of Food Industries of New York (AFI). According to AFI, cashew kernels are classified according to quality and size.
Brazilian cashews - Grade Specifications
According to AFI, cashew kernels are classified according to quality and size as:
1. Based on quality:
First Quality Fancy - cashew kernels have a uniform colour, which may be white, light yellow, pale ivory or light ash-grey.
Second Quality Scorched/Colour Variation - cashew kernels may be yellow, light brown, light ivory, light ash-grey or deep ivory.
Third Quality Special Scorched/Colour Variation - cashew kernels may be deep yellow, brown, amber, and light to deep blue. They may be slightly shrivelled, immature, speckled, blemished or otherwise discoloured.
Fourth Quality - cashew kernels would qualify as First or Second Quality, except that they have pitted spots.
Dessert - cashew kernels may be scraped, shrivelled, blemished or otherwise discoloured.
2. Based on size:
Sizing is compulsory in first quality/fancy cashew kernels but is optional for other whole grades.
Cashew nuts are whole provided that not more than 1/8 of the kernel is broken off. The quantity of broken kernels or pieces in "whole" kernels shall not exceed 10% by weight. This grade may also be designated as 'W'.
B (X) Cashew butts - kernels, which are broken crosswise in half, are less than 7/8 but not less than 3/8 of a whole kernel and which have the cotyledons still naturally attached. Butts which are less than 3/8 of a whole kernel lose the characteristic shape and appearance associated with butts and is generally scored as a piece. This grade may also be designated as "B".
S (X) Cashew splits - these include brokens which are one half of a cashew kernel that has been split lengthwise, provided not more than 1/8 of this cotyledon has been broken off. Splits, which are 7/8 or less, are graded as pieces. This grade may also be designated as "S".
Note: The quantity of pieces present in "butts" and "splits" shall not exceed 10% by weight.
P(X) - Kernels broken into more than two pieces and not passing though a 4 mesh 16 SWG sieve.
SP(X) - Broken kernels smaller than those described as LWP but not passing through a 6 mesh 20 SWG sieve.
SSP(X) - Broken kernels smaller than those described as SWP or SP1 but not passing though an 8 mesh 20 SWG sieve.
G(X) Plemules and broken kernels smaller than those described as SWP or SP1 but not passing through a 10 mesh 24 SWG sieve.
Note: The quantity of the next lower size grade in "pieces" shall not exceed 5% by weight.