.Over the last year, U.S. Cashew buyers have been experiencing an increasing number of issues with Vietnamese cashews flavor and smell. Food safety experts believe one of the causes of the off-taste is the presence of Naphthalene residue.  Naphthalene is not a permitted pesticide for Cashews. 

After a recent trip to Vietnam, we have learned that some Cashew processing facilities are using Moth Balls to prevent rodents and bugs within the facility. Moth balls or Long Nao (see attachment ) often contain Naphthalene. Most people in Vietnam will know and associate this product with anti-odor solution for toilets (to remove the bad smell) but also closets and other household applications to reduce rodents and pests from entering homes.


After thorough investigations in Vietnam, it has become clear that Long Nao is used in many cashew operations in Vietnam to prevent pests entering premises or specific places like electrical boxes. Typically it is used in 1) electrical boxes (to prevent mouse from eating the wires), 2) drying & moisturizing chambers, 3) remote factory areas. 

 This is a practice that must end immediately.

 As Naphthalene ‘balls’ evaporate the molecules can end up being absorbed by the cashews even if the Long Nao “ball”  is not touching the cashews. The presence of Naphthalene vapor is causing a bad off taste to the cashews which is present, even after roasting.  Besides the off taste, naphthalene is a chemical that CANNOT be used in food items like cashews and is not permitted by the FDA.  

 As this is a very serious issue, we like to inform you personally about steps and counter measures we are taking to ensure that your product is not exposed to this chemical and will not be subject to rejection upon arrival in the United States. 

 We are currently researching testing capabilities in Vietnam and the US.  We will begin testing for Naphthalene residue in cashews as soon as we are able.  Most of our US partners are currently testing for Naphthalene in raw material.  If lab results in Vietnam or on arrival in the US are Positive for Naphthalene, your cargo will be rejected, returned and a claim will follow. Therefore we need all Vietnam exporters to be working on this issue immediately, not only in your own factory but also in the factories where you buy from as this is also your responsibility.

 Our staff in Vietnam will be contacting you to ensure removal of all Long Nao Balls.  We will also request permission for our employees to audit your factory to confirm removal of all Long Nao Balls.  

 We will send more information regarding future testing and audits shortly.  We will also be communicating this message with industry parties including Vinacas, Café Control, Vinacontrol, the AFI and INC.   

  Please understand this is a very high important matter that must be dealt with immediately.

Sourse: Vinacas.


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