Cashew Kernels are graded into white/scorched wholes,pieces,splits,butts etc.. depending on the shape,size & colour of the kernel.The Govt.of India Act prescribes 33 different grades of cashew kernels. Only 26 grades are commercially available and exported.
W - 180, is the ' King of Cashew ' - They are larger in size and very expensive.
W - 240, it is an attractive grade which is reasonably priced.
W - 320, are the most popular among cashew kernels and highest in terms of availability, worldwide.
W - 450, are the smallest and cheapest white whole kernels and hence the favorite among low priced whole grades.
Cashews are graded on how white they are and how broken the kernel is. There are four color grades, four styles of break on the kernel and six sizes (or maximum number of kernels per pound)
Classification Method 1 - Classified according to grades / with or without basing on number of kernel per kg.
Cashew kernels have been classified according to 6 quality levels:
Explanation of cashew grade terminology: The alphabets at the front represent a word descriptive of the form of cashew – W for whole, B for Broken, S for Split etc. The numbers that follow the alphabets (where present) usually represent the number of kernels per pound. Hence, to give an example, W 210 implies that it is a whole cashew kernel which gives 210 kernels per pound.
Classification Method 2 – Based on whether the cashew kernel is whole or broken
Plain Natural Wholes - Cashew is graded in three categories based on colour. White Wholes (“W” appearance – white, pale ivory), Scorched Wholes (“SW” – slightly reddish) and Scorched Wholes Seconds (“SSW” – discolored); W and SW Wholes are graded according to size, i.e. number of nuts per Pound; Super Premium – W 150; Premium – W 210; Regular – W 450; Economy – SW 450
Natural Halves - Cashew Kernels broken evenly into 2 parts are less expensive than wholes. They are used in economy packs and also for candy bars, sweets and pastry. Splits are crisper than wholes and sometimes preferred for that reason. The different varieties are: Fancy Splits (FS): White halves split lengthwise; Fancy Bults (FB): White halves broken crosswise; Scorched Splits; Scorched Bults
Natural Broken’s - Natural Cashew pieces are used in economy packs and also in confectionery, pastry, ice creams & cooking; Large White Pieces (LWP); Scorched Pieces (SP); Scorched Pieces Seconds (SPS)
A more detailed version of the above classification: