The University of Ilorin says it will partner with the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN), Ibadan, to enhance the production of cashew in the country.
The Research Manager (Humanities Cluster), Centre for Research Development and In-House Training, University of Ilorin, Prof. Yahya Imam, made this known on Wednesday in Ilorin.
He said that the collaboration would also provide opportunities for employees of CRIN to be trained at the University of Ilorin at both Master and Doctoral levels.
“It will also afford undergraduates and staff of the university the opportunity to benefit from the experience of CRIN experts,’’ .
He explained that the experience would be in the areas of exposure to facilities of the research institute and securing placement opportunities for industrial training as well as sabbatical leave by staff of both institutions.
According to him, the central objective is to enhance a sustainable cultivation of cashew and promote its utilisation through value addition activities.
CRIN has the mandate to research into cashew development.
It has also developed an improved variety of cashew called Brazillian Jumbo, with nuts maturing within one year in contrast to the local wild varieties which mature after five years.
Some of the industrial potential of cashew include juice and roasted cashew nut.
Cashew nut shell also contains inedible Cashew Nut Shell Liquid (CNSL), which consists of 15 per cent of the gross weight, while the nut contains Cashew Nut Kernel Oil (CNKO), which is sweet edible oil.
The CNSL contains high proportion of phenolic compounds, which are used in industries as raw materials for making vehicle brake lining compounds, water proofing agents, preservatives and manufacture of paints and plastics.