This study investigated effect of period of steaming (20, 30 and 40 min) and drying temperature (50, 60 and 70°C) on the chemical properties of cashew nut. The nuts were packaged in glass bottle, polyethylene bag and plastic bottle and stored under ambient condition (28 ± 3°C) for 12 weeks. The samples were analyzed immediately after drying and at two weeks interval during storage for chemical properties. The ranges of the properties studied are - moisture content (4.16 to 6.76%), oil extracted (40.08 to 47.01%), oil colour intensity (0.08 to 0.58A), residual sugar content (1.57 to 6.04%), residual cashew nut shell liquid (CNSL) (0.30 to 3.77%), acid value (0.58 to 12.32 ml/g), peroxide value (2.80 to 25.32 mEq/kg) and anisidine value (0.85 to 5.94 ml/g). Steam boiling time and drying temperatures has significant differences (p < 0.05) on the chemical properties of the dried cashew nuts. Cashew nuts processed by steam boiling for 40 min and dried at 70°C recorded the best quality, as it reduces both the residual CNSL and the moisture content of the kernel. It also had a positive influence on the % residual sugar of the sample.
Key words: Cashew nut, steaming period, drying temperature, chemical properties.