This video actually shows cashew-shaped biscuits being made

Copyright AFP 2017-2020. All rights reserved.

A video has been viewed tens of thousands of times in multiple posts on Facebook and Twitter alongside a claim it shows fake cashew nuts made from flour and various chemicals in the southern Indian state of Kerala. This claim is misleading; the video mirrors other clips showing the production of cashew-shaped crackers. 

The video was published here on Facebook on September 17, 2020. It has been viewed more than 4,100 times. 

The one-minute video shows cashew shapes cut from a flattened dough. A voice, speaking in Malayalam, a language native to the south Indian state of Kerala, says: “You may have seen people sell cheap cashew nuts on the highway. You can see this during the festive time. These cashew nuts are fake and made of substandard flour, and eating these fake cashew nuts can cause cancers and ulcers.” 

Screenshot of the misleading post, taken on September 24, 2020

The post’s caption reads: “Fake Cashew Nuts, made in Kerala. Prepared by mixing maida and some chemicals, which gives the same taste of original cashew nuts, cost per Kg is only Rs.300 to Rs.400.” 

Maida is a type of wheat flour commonly used in Indian breadmaking.

The video has been viewed more than 38,000 times after it was published alongside a similar claim on Facebook here, here, here and here; on Twitter here and here; and on Youtube here, here and here

However, the claim is misleading. 

Several Twitter users commented on the misleading tweet, saying that it appears to show the production of cashew shaped crackers, not nuts. 

One wrote: “These aren’t fake cashews. These are biscuits shaped like cashews. That’s a sheet of rolled dough passing through the stencil which cuts the it into cashews. Looks like a small scale, local business. You can’t replicate the colour, feel, texture and taste of cashew so easily.”

Screenshot of a comment on the misleading tweet

Another commented: “Dont [sic] spread panik [sic] with wrong videos sir. This is called Kaju Nimki Machine which makes kaju shaped sweets…This is not artificial cashew.”

Screenshot of another comment on the misleading tweet

A subsequent keyword search on Google found this YouTube video dated October 5, 2019, showing the manufacturing process of cashew-shaped biscuits.

The video, published on the YouTube channel of Tushar Pandya, which describes itself as a “leading Snacks Foods Machinery Manufacturing Company Situated in Mumbai, India”,  appears to show the same cashew shapes being rolled out from a thin dough, as seen in the misleading tweet.

The video title reads, in part: “Kaju biscuit making machine complit [sic] automatic plant”.

Kaju biscuits are a savoury cracker, often shaped like a cashew nut.

Below is a screenshot comparison between the video in the misleading tweet (L) and the 2019 YouTube video (R):

Screenshot comparison between the video in the misleading post (L) and the 2019 YouTube video (R)

Videos showing similar machinery could also be found here on Twitter and here on YouTube; both are described as “maida kaju making machines”.