Jatropower Key Focus Area: Non-Toxic Jatropha
Jatropower has pioneered the development and commercialisation of non-toxic jatropha varieties
Non-toxic jatropha occurs naturally in Mexico. It is locally known there as “Xuta”.
Xuta has been traditionally used in several Mexican states as human food ingredient.
It is consumed after roasting, or mashed and cooked along with meat, or used to make sweet breads.
Xuta plant is largely similar in appearance to conventional jatropha, but shows the following differences:
- Xuta lacks phorbol esters – the toxic principles in conventional jatropha – in its seeds
- The fruit stalk of Xuta is longer compared to conventional jatropha
- Xuta fruits are oblong shaped compared to spherical fruits in conventional jatropha
- Xuta shows a more open canopy structure
Advantages of Non-toxic jatropha
Plantations of non-toxic Jatropha potentially increases revenue by 25% compared to toxic
This revenue projection is based on the following:
- Crude oil price of 100$/barrel and without any subsidies/tax exemptions for biofuel;
- The seed cake produced by crushing full seeds of conventional jatropha can at best be used as fertilizer. It is usually not suitable as fuel because of high N content. 75€/ton assumed as expected maximum price;
- Price of non-toxic seed kernel meal equivalent of soybean meal at around 330€/ton;
- Shell valued at a minimum price of 75€/ton as shell has a calorific value of over 18MJ/kg.
Jatropower’s commercial non-toxic jatropha variety
The first ever commercial non-toxic jatropha plant, JPNT-1 (one-year old plant in pic), early flowering and high yielding
Wild non-toxic varieties usually show lower seed yields compared to wild conventional jatropha. Through selection, purification and breeding over the last 10 years, we have developed non-toxic jatropha plants that are comparable to elite conventional jatropha varieties.
Presently we are marketing one elite non-toxic jatropha cultivar, JPNT-1; other exciting genotypes are in the pipeline.
See Video: JP Non Toxic Jatropha Plants
Selected characteristics of JPNT-1 seeds
|Accession No.||100 seed weight (g)||Kernel (%)||Oil content (% in DM)||Free Fatty acids (% in oil)|
|JPNT 1||55-65||62-64||38-41||0.6 – 0.8|
Fatty acid composition of seed oil of JPNT-1 compared to average toxic varieties
|Conventional jatropha||13- 14||0.9 - 1||7||42 – 46||31 – 36|
Protein content and phorbol ester content of JPNT-1 kernel cake compared to average toxic varieties
|Crude Protein (% DM)||Phorbol ester content (mg/g dry de-oiled kernel meal)|
Small-scale non-toxic jatropha seed processing
Jatropower has developed small scale machinery for the following in collaboration with engineering partners:
- Deshelling: unto 90% efficiency has been achieved in deshelling of jatropha seeds into shell and kernel.
- Kernel crushing: highly efficient extraction of oil has been achieved in a small-scale pilot kernel crushing plant, with less than 3% residual oil in the kernel meal
See Video: Jatropha kernel crushing press
Further optimisation of the processing machinery is being undertaken at our research centre in India to reach the goal of a robust, affordable and scalable processing solution for any scale of non-toxic jatropha seed production.
Further reading on non-toxic jatropha
More details regarding edible Jatropha plants can be obtained at our publications on the subject:
- “Non- toxic jatropha plants as a potential multipurpose multi-use oilseed crop” http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0926669012003378
- “Non-toxic Jatropha promises to shake up the fuel vs food debate” https://en.calameo.com/read/005484844b249034ee3a6
Relevant publicly available literature on non-toxic jatropha:
- Evaluation of suitability of non-toxic and detoxified Jatropha curcas L. meal as feed for fingerling common carp, Cyprinus carpio L. with reference to phytase application. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany. https://opus.uni-hohenheim.de/volltexte/2013/806/pdf/Thesis_Nahid_Richter.pdf
- Chemical composition, toxic/antimetabolic constituents, and effects of different treatments on their levels, in four provenances of Jatropha curcas L. from Mexico. http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.540.2491&rep=rep1&type=pdf
- Linkage mapping in the oilseed crop Jatropha curcas L. reveals a locus controlling the biosynthesis of phorbol esters which cause seed toxicity http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/pbi.12092/abstract
- Analysis of seed phorbol-ester and curcin content together with genetic diversity in multiple provenances of Jatropha curcas L. from Madagascar and Mexico http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0981942811001963