Upcycling startup Cajú Love announces it is launching its novel cashew fruit meat in US retail and food service. The brand’s organic fruit meat can now be found at BESTIES Vegan Paradise, Los Angeles; Food Fight! Grocery, Portland; Orchard Grocer, New York, and also on Amazon.
“Cashew fruit meat has the potential to feed a growing population without putting pressure on the environment”
Made from Brazilian cashew apples, the discarded byproduct of the country’s cashew nut and juice industries, Cajú Love is a meatless alternative that cooks and shreds like chicken, pork or tuna. Previously only available online, the brand’s 200g cashew fruit meat pack is now sold at select retail outlets, while a new 800g pack is now available for food service.
“Customers have been very excited to try Cajú Love,” shared Beth Sullivan, owner of Food Fight! Grocery. “We have had several add it to their weekly shopping list!”
Full of benefits
According to the startup, Brazil alone wastes some 2.2 million tons of cashew fruits every year. Only about 12% of the cashew fruits are processed – of those, primary uses include juice extraction, making fresh and dried fruit, jams, wines, candies, and animal feed.
Founders Alana Lima and Felipe Barreneche are first generation immigrants from Brazil and Colombia who began exploring possible uses for the cashew nut’s biowaste. The pair discovered the fruit’s fibers offer excellent nutritional benefits, including fat, fiber, minerals, protein, tannins, and vitamin C. The cashew apple also reportedly helps fight inflammation, protects brain health, and supports healthy blood sugar levels.
Cajú Love features simple ingredients and a dense, shredded texture that is quick and easy to prepare. Since launching in 2021, the company reports it has sustainably upcycled over 105,000 cashew apples. For every 200g pack of organic cashew fruit meat, five cashew fruits are upcycled.
“Cashew fruit meat has the potential to feed a growing population without putting pressure on the environment,” says Alana Lima, founder of Cajú Love. “Cajú Love has been a pioneer in the upcycled food movement by creating a new plant-based staple from upcycled cashew fruits. We have built a new supply chain system to upcycle cashew apples that helps conserve energy in food production, reduce food waste, soil exploitation and water usage, and provides an additional income stream for local farmers.”