The following is summarized from a brief article in the September 1990 issue of Appropriate Technology magazine. The first step is to boil the apples in salty water for 15 minutes to remove the bitter taste that is unpleasant to some. Then the apples are perforated and compressed in specially cured wooden devices. The compressed apples are then boiled in sugar for two hours. Some 350 kg of sugar are used with every 1,000 apples with enough water to cover the apples. The sugar is re-used twice.
The boiled apples are then dried in a solar drier. The apples are put in 1.2m x 0.6 m wire trays to a depth of 2.5 cm, inside a 1.5 m x 1.2 m wooden cabinet which is covered with plastic film. Underneath the wire trays there is a black collector plate. The cabinet is inclined at 80°, set toward the east in the morning and moved during the day. The apples are dried in one day and have a shelf life of 6-8 months.
This has been extremely successful. By 1985, over 5,000 kg of cashew produce had been marketed and orders for 1987 were more than 35,000 kg. This provides employment for 2,000 families at £5.00 a day rather than £1.5 a day.
ECHO Staff 1992. Cashew Fruit Drying in Honduras. ECHO Development Notes no. 37