Saturday, January 1, 2011

Toxicity of jatropha

Much like other members of the family Euphorbiaceae, Jatropha plants contain several toxic compounds, including lectin, saponin, carcinogenic phorbol, and a trypsin inhibitor. The seeds of this genus are also a

source of the highly poisonous toxalbumin curcin. Despite this, the seeds are occasionally eaten after roasting,

which reduces some of the toxicity. Its sap is a skin irritant, and ingesting as few as three untreated seeds can

be fatal to humans. In 2005 Western Australia banned Jatropha gossypiifolia as invasive and highly toxic to people and animals.

Jatropha oil has 150% the BTU energy of standard diesel and jet fuel. However, the oil is toxic, and the beans are toxic. Since the toxin is in the oil, once the oil is extracted, the pressmeal is edible for livestock.

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