South Africa: Cashew Nuts Shell Set You Free... From UV Ray-Damage


The story in a nutshell: cashew nuts are a popular cocktail snack lauded for their nutritional benefits including good fats and high levels of protein. It now seems they have an added health benefit with the potential to create a new value chain: their shells can be used for sunscreen, according to scientists from Wits and other institutions.

Cashew nuts go great with a cold beer or G&T on a hot day. And if you are sitting in the sun while imbibing, you might find some use from their shells as well.

Chemists from the University of the Witwatersrand, in collaboration with scientists from Germany, Malawi and Tanzania, have produced aromatic compounds from cashew nut shells with good UVA and UVB absorbance, which can be applied to humans, livestock and industrial coatings for protection from the sun's harmful UV rays. Their findings were recently published in the European Journal of Organic Chemistry.

The research comes against the backdrop of growing concerns among regulators about the petrochemical base of many UV protection agents and the potential environmental consequences that stem from their poor biodegradability.

"With the current concerns over the use of fossil resources... and the effect of current UV absorbers...

See What Everyone is Watching

More From: Daily Maverick

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 700 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.