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Is there a difference in the nutrient composition of cheap (home brand) raw/salted cashews sold in supermarkets like Walmart/Costco/Coles/Woolworths etc compared to other branded cashews ? Similarly, is there a nutritional difference between organic and non-organic raw cashews ?

Edit : I am interested to know the calorie value, the constitutional values of copper, zinc, phosphorous, manganese and magnesium.

  • Hi happybuddha, while the question does meet our rather specific nutrient-composition guidelines, you did not specify which nutrient you are interested in. This makes it way too broad and unclear, you have to define which nutrients you are interested in. – rumtscho Jun 25 '16 at 8:31
  • @rumtscho Does it make more sense now ? – happybuddha Jun 25 '16 at 11:32
  • Negative voter - care to explain ? If you google, there is no way to know if the home brand cashews are healthier than the branded ones/organics - this information is simply not available- So I don't know what research this question is lacking - or how much more clarity can be put into it. – happybuddha Jun 25 '16 at 23:00
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    @happybuddha Kind of pointless to ask the downvoter to explain; they've already voted and moved on. That said, I can take a guess... the voting tooltips list three things: research effort, clarity, and usefulness. As you've said, the research effort is probably fine here, and it's clear enough what you're asking. But it might not be the most useful question; I doubt it's ever very helpful in practice to look for variation in micronutrients like that, and if you're worried about getting enough of those minerals, you can just take a multivitamin. – Cascabel Jun 27 '16 at 15:13
  • @Jefromi Thanks. But no thanks. I am against synthetic supplements. – happybuddha Jun 27 '16 at 22:25
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In calorie value they would be the same. In minerals the same (if the origin is the same). But as you know other nutritional as omega3 can be oxidate easiely if the product not be handle carefully (for example away from air and sun). Also the branded ones can be more carefully selected and maybe can be bigger in size.

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There's no reason to expect any systematic difference. The store-brand ones and the brand-name ones might well be the same cashews in different packaging. And the FDA (and other agencies) are perfectly content to let everyone put the same nutrition facts on their cashews without any sort of individual testing, whether or not there may be underlying variability.

For what it's worth, the FDA does report nutritional information based on two trials for cashews (not exactly high confidence) and the minerals you're interested in don't vary much between the two: copper by 7%, zinc 5%, phosphorous 10%, manganese 1%, and magnesium 2%. That's all just relative percentages between the two trials - converted to daily values, copper varies by 2%DV, zinc 1%, phosphorous 2%, manganese 0.2%, and magnesium 0.2%. (Note that some things do appear to vary more, e.g. sodium changed 50%... but it's still only a 0.2% daily value change.)

So I'm sure it's possible for cashews grown in different places to have slightly different mineral content and so on, but there's no way to tell by the time it's all packaged to sell to you.

So in the end, based on that admittedly low-confidence data, the variation isn't that much to begin with, and you don't have any way to find out anyway, so might as well not worry about it. There are better ways to make sure you're getting enough of a given mineral.

  • I think half of your answer is incorrect. There is quite a bit of variability in natural products' nutrient composition. The data the USDA database has on cashews comes from only two datapoints, so it shows very little: ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/…. But even in this case, there are nutrients (like sodium) which differed by 50% between the two samples. So, the variance is probably unrelated to price, but it certainly exists. Nutrient labels are rough averages. – rumtscho Jun 27 '16 at 16:30
  • @rumtscho On the other hand, a lot of things didn't vary that much. But it's not that important to the answer so I just removed it. – Cascabel Jun 27 '16 at 17:09
  • Would you know, what makes the cashews taste so different ? Is it just where and how they were grown ? Or the difference is because the oil from the seed of the store brand cashews has been extracted rendering the seed void of nutrients ? – happybuddha Jun 27 '16 at 22:27
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    @happybuddha I wouldn't assume that taste is correlated with nutrients, or that "good" or "bad" processing is associated with good or bad flavor. The cashews themselves could vary, sure, or the roasting could be done better or worse, or they could be stored in more or less ideal conditions, or they could've been at the store for longer or shorter, and so on. But I certainly don't think anyone is deliberately extracting flavorful oil from cashews and leaving them tasting worse - I don't even know how you'd do that. – Cascabel Jun 27 '16 at 22:41
  • @rumtscho I think I've addressed what you mentioned and the answer should be mostly correct now. Let me know if you have any other suggestions! – Cascabel Jun 28 '16 at 0:20

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