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Agroclimatic Conditions, Chemical and Nutritional Characterization of Different Provenances of Jatropha Curcas L. from Mexico

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In Mexico, Jatropha curcas is widely distributed. It is found in the wild in more than 15 states. To our knowledge it is the only country where toxic and non-toxic genotypes of J. curcas occur naturally. Guerrero, Michoacan and Chiapas states have over 90% of the toxic J. curcas, while edible (not toxic) provenances exist in northern Puebla and Veracruz (Totonacapan region). They grow in different growing conditions from 10 to 1430 msl, annual rainfall of 621 to 2500 mm, and in hot humid, sub-humid, and transitional climates. The kernel weight of seeds (as percent of seeds) from Chiapas was 74.4% and 73.7% from Suchiapa and Villaflores respectively, and it was 61 to 69.7%from the other regions. There was a large variation in the contents of crude protein (CP) in kernels (19- 33%); Huitzilan had the smallest content of (18.8%) and Villaflores the highest (33.3%). The oil content in the kernel was from 46 to 64%, the lowest for Villaflores (45.9%) and highest for Huitzilan (64.5%). The protein digestibility of the kernel meal was from 73 to 80%. Trypsin inhibitor activity in the kernel meal ranged from 30-35 mg/g, phytic acid from 7.3 to 9.3%, saponins from 1.1 to 3.7%, and lectin activity from 1.56 to 12.5 mg/ml. The highest concentration of phorbolesters was in Chiapa de Corzo (4.05 mg/g). Seven samples from Veracruz, Puebla and Morelos were free of phorbolesters. J. curcas kernels
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European Journal of Scientific Research
ISSN 1450-216X Vol.39 No.3 (2010), pp.396-407
© EuroJournals Publishing, Inc. 2010
http://www.eurojournals.com/ejsr.htm
Agroclimatic Conditions, Chemical and Nutritional
Characterization of Different Provenances of Jatropha
Curcas L. from Mexico
Jorge Martinez Herrera
Centro de Desarrollo de Productos Bióticos – IPN. Carr. Yautepec-Jojutla km 6. Col
San Isidro, Yautepec, Morelos, Mexico. ZIP 62731
E-mail: jmartin@ipn.mx
Alma L. Martinez Ayala
Centro de Desarrollo de Productos Bióticos – IPN. Carr. Yautepec-Jojutla km 6. Col
San Isidro, Yautepec, Morelos, Mexico. ZIP 62731
E-mail: jmartin62@hotmail.com
Harinder Makkar
Institute for Animal Production in the tropics and subtropics (480b)
University of Hohenheim, D-70593 Stuttgart, Germany
George Francis
Institute for Animal Production in the tropics and subtropics (480b)
University of Hohenheim, D-70593 Stuttgart, Germany
Klaus Becker
Institute for Animal Production in the tropics and subtropics (480b)
University of Hohenheim, D-70593 Stuttgart, Germany
Abstract
In Mexico, Jatropha curcas is widely distributed. It is found in the wild in more
than 15 states. To our knowledge it is the only country where toxic and non-toxic
genotypes of J. curcas occur naturally. Guerrero, Michoacan and Chiapas states have over
90% of the toxic J. curcas, while edible (not toxic) provenances exist in northern Puebla
and Veracruz (Totonacapan region). They grow in different growing conditions from 10 to
1430 msl, annual rainfall of 621 to 2500 mm, and in hot humid, sub-humid, and transitional
climates. The kernel weight of seeds (as percent of seeds) from Chiapas was 74.4% and
73.7% from Suchiapa and Villaflores respectively, and it was 61 to 69.7%from the other
regions. There was a large variation in the contents of crude protein (CP) in kernels (19-
33%); Huitzilan had the smallest content of (18.8%) and Villaflores the highest (33.3%).
The oil content in the kernel was from 46 to 64%, the lowest for Villaflores (45.9%) and
highest for Huitzilan (64.5%). The protein digestibility of the kernel meal was from 73 to
80%. Trypsin inhibitor activity in the kernel meal ranged from 30-35 mg/g, phytic acid
from 7.3 to 9.3%, saponins from 1.1 to 3.7%, and lectin activity from 1.56 to 12.5 mg/ml.
The highest concentration of phorbolesters was in Chiapa de Corzo (4.05 mg/g). Seven
samples from Veracruz, Puebla and Morelos were free of phorbolesters. J. curcas kernels
Agroclimatic Conditions, Chemical and Nutritional Characterization of
Different Provenances of Jatropha Curcas L. from Mexico 397
which are consumed by humans were free of phorbol esters; however, other antinutritional
factors studied were in the similar order of magnitude as in the toxic J. curcas. The
potential of non toxic J. curcas as protein rich food and oil for human needs to be
evaluated.
Keywords: J. curcas, non toxic, phorbolesters, agroclimatic conditions, protein
1. Introduction
Jatropha curcas L. belongs to the family Euphorbiaceae. It is considered to have originated from
Central America, most probably Mexico. In Mexico, it is found extensively in different regions, for
example Sonora, Sinaloa, San Luis Potosi, Guadalajara, Michoacán, Guerrero, Oaxaca, Chiapas,
Tabasco, Yucatán, Quintana Roo, Veracruz, Tamaulipas, Puebla, Hidalgo and Morelos. Some common
names for J. curcas in Mexico are “piñon”, “piñoncillo”, “Achsti”, piñon oil”, “piñon Mexican”. The
plant occurs between altitudes of 10 to 1430 mean sea level (msl) and in several agroclimatic
conditions. Jatropha plants occurring in various climatic regions and sometimes even the plants from
the same climatic zone show morphological differences, particularly with regard to the shape and size
of the seeds and their protein and lipid content. Two genotypes of J. curcas are available in Mexico,
toxic and non-toxic. The seeds of the non-toxic genotypes are consumed by humans after roasting
(Makkar,et. al., 1998).
Recently, J. curcas has attracted attention of various research organisations, governments,
public and international developmental agencies and industries in the tropics and subtropics due to its
adaptability to semi arid marginal sites, the possibility of using its oil as a diesel fuel substitute and its
role in erosion control. Lately, in Mexico as well this plant has attracted immense attention. Two years
ago, Mexico government initiated a program in which CONAFOR (Consejo Nacional Forestal or
National Board of Forestry) MEXICO pays 570 US$ per hectare to a farmer if he plants J. curcas with
a population density of 1660 per hectare. Some states that currently have planted more than 3000 ha of
J. curcas are Michoacan (non-toxic), Veracruz (non-toxic), Chiapas (toxic), Puebla (non-toxic) and
San Luis Potosi (toxic) and the plantations would substantially increase in the coming years. The land
used for planting J. curcas has been the temporarily idle land without any agricultural use or uneven
and sloping lands, because the irrigated lands are used for planting staple crops such as corn, beans,
sugar cane, sorghum and rice. This year, for the first time, we observed that the leaves, stems and
flowers of the non-toxic J. curcas were browsed by cows and horses in the dry months in the state of
Morelos, Mexico. It is worth noting that toxic genoytpes of J. curcas have been planted in several
countries as a live fence since the leaves and other parts of the plant are not consumed by livestock
even in peak summer months when other grass species are sparse.
In some places in Mexico, J. curcas has been intercropped with beans, peanut, chilli, coffee,
medicinal and aromatic plants for the first two years, giving additional productive outputs. In addition,
J. curcas fruits are used as compost or to generate biogas. The seeds from the non-toxic genotype have
an added advantage that the press cake can be used as animal feed or as human food.
Despite some studies (Martinez, et. al.,2006; Makkar,et. al., 2008) on some J. curcas
provenances from Mexico, a systematic documentation of J. curcas available in different regions in
Mexico and their agroclimatic conditions, the morphological characteristics of seeds, and nutritional
and antinutritional components in seed kernels is lacking. This paper is a step towards filling this
knowledge gap.
398 Jorge Martinez Herrera, Alma L. Martinez ayala,
Harinder Makkar, George Francis and Klaus Becker
2. Materials and Methods
2.1 Seed Collection
The seeds of Jatropha curcas were collected from 18 different regions from Mexico during the months
of July-November 2006. The regions were: San Jose Acateno, Tenampa, Coatzacoaclos, Tlapacoyan
from Veracruz state; Huitzilan and Xochitlan from Puebla state; Comalcalco from Tabasco state;
Suchiapa, Chiapa de Corzo, and Villaflores from Chiapas state; Tlaxmalac and Costa Chica from
Guerrero state; and Cuautla from Morelos state. From the Michoacan state, seeds were collected from
Tejabán in Nuevo Urecho, La Ordeñita in Tepalcatepec, San Isidro in Tepalcatepec, Corona in Periban,
and La Cortina in Gabriel Zamora. Soon after the collection, the seeds were cleaned thoroughly, sun
dried and stored in a container at room temperature until further analysis.
The altitude of the places was record by GPS III (Garmin, model GPS III Plus, Ronsey, UK).
2.2. Physical Properties of Seeds
Thirty seeds were randomly taken from each variety and weighed as a group. These seeds were cracked
using a mechanical cracker, the shells were carefully removed, and the weight of the kernels was
recorded. Further, the average shell weight was calculated from total seed weight minus kernel weight
of the respective seeds.
2.3. Sample Preparation
The kernels were ground using a coffee grinder and defatted in a Soxhlet apparatus using petroleum
ether (boiling point of 40-60°C) for 16 h. The defatted kernel meal was air dried at room temperature
and stored in a separate plastic container. It is being termed as kernel meal hereafter in this paper.
2.4. Proximate Composition
The moisture content of the samples was determined by oven drying to a constant weight at 105°C.
Crude protein, lipid, crude fibre and ash were determined in accordance with the standard methods of
AOAC (1990). Gross energy was estimated by an adiabatic bomb calorimeter (IKA C7000) using
benzoic acid as a standard.
2.5. In-vitro Protein Digestibility
The in vitro protein digestibility (IVPD) of the kernel meal of different provenaces was measured
according to a multienzyme technique (Satterlee, et. al., 1979) and protein digestibility of the sample
was calculated using the following regression equation: Y = 234.84 – 22.56 (X) Where, Y= % protein
digestibility and X = pH of protein suspension after 20 min of digestion with the four enzyme solution.
2.6. Determination of Trypsin Inhibitor Activity, Phytic Acid and Saponin Contents
Trypsin inhibitor activity was essentially determined according to Smith, et. al.,(1980) except that the
enzyme was added last as suggested by Liu and Markakis (1989). The phytic acid content of the
sample was determined by a colorimetric procedure described by Vaintraub and Lapteva (1988).
Results are expressed as g 100 g-1 phytic acid by using phytic acid (Sigma, St. Louis, MO, USA) as a
standard. Total saponin content was determined using a spectrophotometric method described by Hiai,
et. al., (1976). The results are expressed as diosgenin equivalent from a standard curve of different
concentrations of diosgenin in 80% aqueous methanol.
Agroclimatic Conditions, Chemical and Nutritional Characterization of
Different Provenances of Jatropha Curcas L. from Mexico 399
2.7. Phytohaemagglutinating Activity
Analysis of the lectin content was conducted by hemagglutination assay in round-bottomed wells of
microtiter plates using 1% (v/v) trypsinised cattle blood erythrocytes suspension in saline phosphate
buffer, pH 7.0 (Makkar, et. Al., 1997). The hemagglutination activity was defined as the minimum
amount of the kernel material (in mg per ml of the assay medium), which produced agglutination. The
minimum amount was the material per ml of the assay medium in the highest dilution that was positive
for agglutination.
2.8. Extraction and Estimation of Phorbol esters Through HPLC
About 0.5 g of kernel meals were weighed and subsequently extracted with methanol as described by
Makkar, et. al., (1998b). The analytical column was reverse phase C18 (LiChrospher 100, endcapped 5
µm) 250 x 4 mm I.D. Column protected with a guard column containing the same material as the main
column according to the procedure outlined by Makkar et al. (1998b). The separation was performed at
room temperature (23°C) and the flow rate was 1.3 mL min-1. The four phorbolester compound peaks
that appeared between 26 and 31 min were identified and integrated at 280 nm. The results are
expressed as equivalent to a standard, phorbol-12-myristate 13-acetate, which appeared between 34
and 36 min.
3. Results and Discussion
3.1. Agroclimatic Conditions
The agroclimatic conditions of the regions from where the seeds were collected are shown in Table 1,
the maximum altitude (1420 msl) was recorded for Corona, followed by 1300 msl for Cuautla, and the
minimum was 10 msl for Coatzacoalcos. It is important to mention, that minimum value of
precipitation was for Tepalcatepec (621 mm), and the maximum for Coatzacoalcos, Huitzilan, and
Comalcalco which was > 2000 mm. The climate classification of different regions, according to García
(1972) is listed in Table 1. J. curcas seeds can be collected from July to December. In places such as
Morelos, Guerrero, Sinaloa the plants shed leaves in October and November whereas in Veracruz,
Puebla, Chiapas, Michoacan they keep on shedding leaves till December. In March (spring season in
Mexico) again the onset of the leaves starts.
400 Jorge Martinez Herrera, Alma L. Martinez ayala,
Harinder Makkar, George Francis and Klaus Becker
Table 1: Origin of seeds and agroclimatic conditions of collecting sites
Origin Altitude (msl)
Average Annual rainfall
(mm) Average Temperature
(ºC) Climate type
San Jose Acateno, Veracruz 80 1400 24.0 A(w)
Tenampa, Veracruz 980 920 27.0 A(w1)
Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz “non
Toxic”* 10 2500 25.6 Am
Huitzilan, Puebla 900 2021 18.0 Acf
Xochitlan, Puebla 1040 1400 24.0 Acf
Suchiapa, Chiapas 440 1186 24.4 A(w)
Villaflores, Chiapas 560 1209 24.3 A(w1)
Cuautla, Morelos 1300 856 22.6 Awº
Comalcalco, Tabasco 40 2675 26.4 Am
Tlaxmalac, Guerrero 940 911 25.0 A(w)
Costa Chica, Guerrero 50 1200 25.0 A(w1)
Chiapa de Corzo, Chiapas 450 990 26.0 A(w)
Tlapacoyan, Veracruz 430 1500 18.0 A(w)
Tejabán, Nuevo Urecho,
Michoacan 483 853 24.7 A(w)
La Ordeñita, Tepalcatepec,
Michoacan 304 621 24.8 A(w1)
San Isidro, Tepalcatepec,
Michoacan 402 621 24.8 A(w1)
Corona, Periban, Michoacan 1420 1366 28.2 A(w1)
La Cortina, Gabriel Zamora,
Michoacan 474 853 26.0 A(w)
A(w) hot sub-humid region with rains in summer), Am = hot humid climate with abundant rains in summer), Awº = semi-
hot, sub-humid climate with rains in summer, A(w1) = hot sub-humid region with rains in summer, Acf= semi-hot humid
climate with rains all year,
* Earlier we reported J. curcas plant from Coatzacoalcos to be toxic (Martínez et. al., 2006), but we also found non-toxic
plants, the seeds of which are consumed by people. According to the people living in the region, the seeds of non-toxic J.
curcas were by brought from Papantla and planted in Coatzacoalcos.
In Puebla, Hidalgo and Veracruz, J. curcas seeds of the non-toxic variety are consumed by
humans in the toasted form and as a side dish in mashed form. These are also used in the preparation of
dishes called “pipián” or “pupulpth” in which Jatropha kernels are mixed with seeds of pumpkin and
sesame, and made into a paste. In some regions of Mexico, people are aware that certain plants of J.
curcas are toxic while others are nontoxic; while in others, our investigations showed that the seeds are
non-toxic, but the local people are unaware of this. In Mexico, only approximately 10% of all J. curcas
plants are non-toxic and that too are limited to few regions, while the rest are toxic and available for
example in Chiapas, Guerrero, Michoacán. Sujatha et al. (2005) have reported that non-toxic mothers
produce non-toxic seeds and the toxic mothers give toxic seeds independent of the phenotype of the
father. It could be that the non-toxic genotype is driven by a single suppressor gene that blocks
production of all phorbol esters (at least six phorbol esters are known to be present in J. curcas; Goel et
al., 2007).
We observed the presence of insects, Bedbug Pachycoris klugii in non-toxic J. curcas in Puebla
and Leptoglossus zonatus and P. klugii in non-toxic J. curcas in Morelos. These two insects were also
found to seriously attack toxic J. curcas fruits in Chiapas. In Veracruz for the non-toxic J. curcas,
some birds like parrots and squirrels have been observed to cut and eat the green fruit. The leaf footed
bug L. zonatus was found sucking the juice of green fruits, and fungi attack has also been observed
with the passage of time in the damaged fruits. L. zonatus were always found in groups – as if
copulating on the green fruit leaves and flowers, considerably damaging the plant and reducing yields.
It is interesting to note that in the wild, seeds that fall off the tree in the rainy season
immediately and easily begin to germinate around the tree. The best germination rate of approximately
95% is observed for the recently harvested seeds under laboratory conditions.
Agroclimatic Conditions, Chemical and Nutritional Characterization of
Different Provenances of Jatropha Curcas L. from Mexico 401
3.2. Physical Properties of Seeds
Table 2 shows physical properties of seeds of different provenances from Mexico. The average seed
weight > 0.60 g was observed for all the regions, except Corona in Periban state (0.46 g). One kilogram
of seeds on average comprises of 1200 to 1400 seeds. Although quantitative data are lacking, the seeds
collected in the rainy season, from July to September are bigger than those collected during the period,
November to December.
Table 2: Physical characteristics of seeds of different provenances from Mexico
Average seed weight Kernel weight Shell weight
(g) (% of seed) (% of seed)
San Jose Acateno, Veracruz 0.73 68.9 31.1
Tenampa, Veracruz 0.74 65.9 34.1
Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz. “non toxic” 0.79 69.7 30.3
Huitzilan, Puebla 0.68 66.9 33.1
Xochitlán, Puebla 0.72 67.2 32.8
Suchiapa, Chiapas 0.83 74.4 25.6
Villaflores, Chiapas 0.67 73.7 26.3
Tlaxmalac, Guerrero 0.73 61.7 38.3
Cuautla, Morelos 0.61 65.9 34.1
Comalcalco, Tabasco. 0.71 66.5 33.5
Costa Chica, Guerrero 0.74 62.8 37.2
Tlapacoyan, Veracruz 0.83 69.5 30.5
Chiapa de Corzo, Chiapas 0.72 67.2 32.8
Tejabán, Nuevo Urecho, Michoacán 0.68 64.0 36.0
La Ordeñita, Tepalcatepec, Michoacán 0.64 63.2 36.8
Corona, Periban, Michoacán. 0.46 63.8 36.2
San Isidro, Tepalcatepec, Michoacán 0.67 63.9 36.1
La Cortina, Gabriel Zamora, Michoacán 0.70 67.1 32.9
The kernel weight of seeds from Chiapas was the highest: 74.4% of seed weight for Suchiapa
seeds, followed by 73.7 % for Villaflores seeds. Generally the seeds in this region are wider (and not
longer; 16.92-18.41 mm length and 10.93-12.88 mm width versus 16.75-17.46 mm length and, 9.94-
10.43 mm width non toxic seeds) as compared to those from other regions. The kernel weights from
seeds from different regions varied from 61 and 69.7%, of the seed weights which is similar to those
observed from other regions of the world (Makkar et al., 1997; Martinez, et al., 2006).
3.3. Chemical Composition
The chemical composition of kernels from different provenances is presented in Table 3. There was a
large variation in the contents of CP (18-33%); Huitzilan had the smaller content of CP (18.6%) and
Villaflores the highest (33.3%). The oil content was from 46 to 64%; the lowest was for Villaflores
(45.9%) and the highest for Huitzilan (64.5%). Ash and gross energy contents also varied substantially.
It may be noted that for Huitzilan, CP was lowest and oil content highest. For the entire set of samples
significantly negative relationship (P <0.05) existed for CP and oil contents (Figure 1).
The CP content in J. curcas kernels for the seed collected from Huitzilan, Puebla, was similar
to that in rapeseeds (18.8% vs 19 %), whereas for others it was in the same range as for seeds, for
example soybean (32%), Karanja (22.0%), sesame (25.2%), pumpkin (26.5%), sunflower seeds
(30.5%) and peanut (23-26%), (Hahm, et al., 2009; Nyam, et. al., 2009; Vinay and Kanya, 2008;
Yoshie-Stark, et al., 2008).
402 Jorge Martinez Herrera, Alma L. Martinez ayala,
Harinder Makkar, George Francis and Klaus Becker
Table 3: Proximate composition of kernels of Jatropha curcas from different agroclimatic origins of Mexico
Dry matter Crude protein Oil Ash Fiber Gross energy
Origin (%) (%) (%) (%) (%) MJ/kg
San Jose Acateno, Veracruz 95.7 27.6 58.3 5.0 5.1 29.9
Tenampa, Veracruz 94.7 28.9 57.4 3.8 3.8 29.4
Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz “non toxic” 95.3 31.9 52.6 4.5 3.8 29.2
Huitzilan, Puebla 96.0 18.8 64.5 5.8 5.3 31.6
Xochitlan, Puebla 95.1 29.9 57.1 5.3 3.5 30.3
Suchiapa, Chiapas 95.4 24.3 60.4 4.0 4.2 30.1
Villaflores, Chiapas 94.0 33.3 45.9 4.0 4.0 26.5
Tlaxmalac, Guerrero 95.6 23.2 57.7 5.4 4.1 30.2
Cuautla, Morelos 95.4 29.7 58.7 4.7 4.0 29.7
Comalcalco, Tabasco 95.3 24.6 56.3 5.1 4.2 29.2
Costa Chica, Guerrero 95.8 24.2 58.7 4.8 3.9 29.2
Tlapacoyan, Veracruz 94.6 28.2 56.1 4.7 4.3 29.1
Chiapa de Corzo, Chiapas. 95.9 26.4 55.3 4.3 4.8 29.1
Tejabán, Nuevo Urecho, Michoacan. 94.7 25.8 53.5 4.5 3.8 29.3
La Ordeñita, Tepalcatepec, Michoacan. 95.7 30.5 51.4 4.0 4.1 29.1
San Isidro, Tepalcatepec, Michoacan. 96.4 29.2 51.3 4.3 4.2 29.2
Corona, Periban, Michoacan 95.6 30.5 48.9 3.8 3.9 27.4
La Cortina, Gabriel Zamora, Michoacan 95.8 24.3 51.1 3.7 3.9 29.3
Figure 1: Linear regression between crude protein and oil content
The oil content in J. curcas kernel was higher than in lupins (14%), soybean (19.7-23.2%)
(Sujak, et al., 2006; Vasconcelos,et. al., 2001) and in the seeds of moringa (35%), pumpkin (34.9),
karanja (39.2%), peanut (47-53.1%), sesame (52.1%), sunflower (51-55.5%), rapeseed (54.2%)
(Campos,et al., 2009; Hahm, et. al., 2009; Nyam, et. al., 2009; Vinay and Kanya, 2008; Rashid, et
al.,2008; Yoshie-Stark, et al., 2008; Sen and Bhattacharyya, 2000).
3.4. In vitro Protein Digestibility
In vitro protein digestibility of kernel meal of different provenances of J. curcas is shown in Table 4.
Generally J. curcas kernel meal had good digestibility (73-80%). These values are higher than those for
the flours of moth bean (58.8%) (Khokhar and Chauhan, 1986), breadnut (71.1%), cashewnut (75.6%)
and pumpkin flour (78.7) (Fagbemi, et al.,,2005). As protein digestibility of seeds is influenced by the
Agroclimatic Conditions, Chemical and Nutritional Characterization of
Different Provenances of Jatropha Curcas L. from Mexico 403
presence of antinutritive factors (Liener, 1976), different processing and cooking methods that affect
their levels influence protein digestibility. In vitro protein digestibility of the J. curcas kernel meal
significantly improved after pressure cooking (autoclaving) (Martinez et. al., 2006).
Table 4: In vitro protein digestibilities of defatted flour of Jatropha curcas from different regions in Mexico
Origin (%)a
San Jose Acateno, Veracruz 78.5
Tenampa, Veracruz 77.4
Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz “non toxic” 78.1
Huitzilán, Puebla 78.3
Xochitlán, Puebla 80.6
Suchiapa, Chiapas 74.1
Villaflores, Chiapas 73.0
Tlaxamalac, Guerrero 79.1
Cuautla, Morelos 78.7
Comalcalco, Tabasco 75.6
Costa Chica, Guerrero 79.0
Tlapacoyan, Veracruz 78.4
Chiapa de Corzo, Chiapas. 73.5
Tejabán, Nuevo Urecho, Michoacan 76.8
La Ordeñita, Tepalcatepec, Michoacan 78.6
San Isidro, Tepalcatepec, Michoacan 75.6
Corona, Periban, Michoacan 79.1
La Cortina, Gabriel Zamora, Michoacan 74.3
a Based on multienzyme technique
3.5. Antnutritional and Toxic Factors
Table 5 shows the level of various antinutritional factors present in kernel meal of J. curcas from
Mexico. Trypsin inhibitor activities ranged from 30 to 35 mg/g, phytic acid from 7.3 to 9.2%, saponins
content from 1.1 to 3.7% and lectin activity from 1.56 to 12.5 mg/ml. Jatropha toxicity is ascribed to
the presence of phorbol esters (Makkar et al., 1997). The highest concentration of phorbolester was in
Chiapa de Corzo, Chis (4.05 mg/g). Seven samples from Veracruz, Puebla and Morelos were free of
phorbolesters. These seeds are consumed by people. Earlier as well, seeds from some regions of
Mexico have been found to be free of phorbol esters, non-toxic and edible (Makkar et al., 2008).
It has been brought to our notice by villagers that reside in regions where non-toxic seeds exist
and are consumed, on migration they take non-toxic seeds and plant them at their new place of
habitation. So, sometimes Jatropha plants with non-toxic seeds exist in regions where otherwise only
toxic plants existed. The selling price of non toxic seeds in some regions of Mexico has increased from
0.20 US$ to 100 US$ per kilogram, since lately many people want to buy non-toxic seeds from Mexico
for establishing non-toxic J. curcas plantations.
The trypsin inhibitor and lectin activities are high in the kernel meal and these activities are
similar to that in the raw soy bean meal (Makkar and Becker, 1998). Trysin inhibitor could decrease
protein digestibility and lectins could cause toxicity. However, lectin activity of both the toxic and non-
toxic meals, as determined by haemagglutination assay, was almost similar. Curcin is considered to be
a lectin and the similar haemagglutination of toxic and non-toxic genotypes suggest that curcin is not
the princial toxin present in Jatropha seeds (Becker & Makkar 2009). Previous studies of Martinez, el.
al. (2006), showed that the in vitro protein digestibility increased from 79.6% to 87.2% when the
defatted meal was heat treated. This could be due to inactivation of trypsin inhibitors. Phytate content
in the kernel meal is also very high (approximate 7.5 to 9%). Phytate is known to decrease absorption
of mineral, particulary calcium, zinc and iron. It may also be noted that the levels of trypsin inhibitor
and phytate in the kernel meals from both the toxic and non-toxic genotypes of J. curcas are almost
similar (Table 5). Comparable results have been reported earlier (Makkar and Becker, 2009). Similar
levels of saponins were observed in kernel meals from both toxic and non-toxic genotypes (1.1 to
404 Jorge Martinez Herrera, Alma L. Martinez ayala,
Harinder Makkar, George Francis and Klaus Becker
3.7%), and these saponins did not posses haemolityc activity. To mitigate adverse effects of phytate,
the addition of phytase enzyme should be considered for feeds containing high levels of kernel meal
from non toxic Jatropha genotype. This would also spare the supplementation of phosphorus to the
diets and decrease phosphorus release into water channels thereby decreasing environmental pollution.
Cereals, oilseeds and legume have trypsin inhibitors, lectins, phytates and saponins, among others, and
after heat treatment or cooking these are consumed by people without any problem, as part of the diet
in different countries.
Table 5: Antnutritional and toxic factors presents in Jatropha curcas kernel meal of different provenances
from Mexico
TI (mg/g) Phytic acid Saponinsb Lectin
activityc Total
phorbolestersd Seed Edible or
Origin samplea (%) (g/100 g) (mg/ml) (mg/g) Non edible
San Jose Acateno, Veracruz 28.2 (0.76) 8.4 (0.26) 2.03 (0.12) 1.56 ND Edible
Tenampa, Veracruz 35.5 (0.15) 7.5 (0.25) 2.50 (0.00) 12.5 ND Edible
Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz “non Toxic” 28.4 (1.06) 7.60 (0.06) 2.06 (0.02) 3.12 ND Edible
Huitzilan, Puebla 35.4 (0.6) 9.2 (0.31) 1.62(0.16) 1.56 ND Edible
Xochitlan, Puebla 28.5 (0.3) 7.8 (0.07) 1.10(0.05) 0.78 ND Edible
Suchiapa, Chiapas 34.1 (1.5) 8.55 (0.26) 2.08 (0.05) 12.5 2.03 (0.16) Non Edible
Villaflores, Chiapas 23.4 (0.45) 7.7 (0.04) 3.71 (0.20) 12.5 0.60 (0.5) Non Edible
Tlaxmalac, Guerrero 33.8 (0.76) 8.7 (0.16) 1.97 (0.02) 1.56 1.88 (0.26) Non Edible
Cuautla, Morelos 35.51 (0.15) 8.76 (0.39) 2.14 (0.03) 1.46 ND Edible
Comalcalco, Tab. 29.0 (0.76) 7.9 (0.10) 1.53 (0.25) 6.25 ND Edible
Costa Chica, Gro. 32.5 (1.06) 8.2 (0.05) 2.68 (0.04) 12.5 ND Edible
Tlapacoyan, Ver. 29.5 (0.58) 8.6 (0.36) 2.09 (0.23) 1.56 ND Edible
Chiapa de Corzo, Chis. 28.3 (0.32) 7.3 (0.29) 1.96 (0.10) 3.12 4.05 (0.33) Non Edible
Tejabán, Nuevo Urecho, Michoacan 27.4 (0.85) 8.4 (0.15) 2.41 (0.14) 0.78 ND Edible
La Ordeñita, Tepalcatepec, Michoacan 26.1 (0.55) 7.9 (0.31) 2.36 (0.16) 3.12 ND Edible
San Isidro, Tepalcatepec, Michoacan 28.8 (1.01) 7.9 (0.63) 1.62 (0.11) 6.25 ND Edible
Corona, Periban, Michoacan 30.2 (0.96) 8.9 (0.07) 1.67 (0.08) 12.5 ND Edible
La Cortina, Gabriel Zamora, Michoacan. 30.0 (0.25) 8.0 (0.42) 2.21 (0.7) 3.12 ND Edible
a. TI, mg of pure trypsin inhibited/g simple
b. Diosgenin acid equivalents
c. Minimum amount of the sample required to show the agglutination after two fold dilution in 1 ml of final assay
medium
d. Equivalent to phorbol 12-myristate, 13 acetate; ND, not detected; The values in the parentheses are standard deviation.
Phorbol esters are present in high concentration in the kernel meal from the toxic genotype
(0.60-4 mg/g), but absent in kernel meal from the non-toxic genotype. It is the presence of phorbol
ester (and not of trypsin inhibitor, lectins, saponins or phytate) which determines whether the kernels
could be consumed by humans or not. Earlier we have reported the consumption of non-toxic J. curcas
seeds by humans during the Christmas period in Mexico and roasting decreased activities of trypsin
inhibitor and lectins (Makkar, et al.,1998c). For utilization of the non-toxic seeds in human, fish or
livestock diets, heating would be beneficial since it would mitigate the adverse effects of the heat labile
antinutrients and as mentioned earlier it also increase the protein digestibility. In addition, the protein
efficiency ratio, weight growth and intake for rats fed diets containing raw non-toxic Jatropha kernel
meal was significantly lower than for the diet containing heated Jatopha kernel meal (Makkar and
Becker, 2009).
For the toxic J. curcas, Makkar et al. (2008), reported that the oil contained 70% to 75% of
total phorbol esters and the rest 25-30% was in the kernel meal. Absence of oil in the kernel meal and
presence of considerable amount of phorbol esters in the kernel meal suggest that phorbol esters are
tightly bound to the matrix of the kernel meal. Phorbol esters, diterpenes of phorbol type cause severe
toxic symptoms in livestock. At least, six phorbol esters are present in Jatropha seeds (Haas, et
al.,2002; Goel, et al.,2007). The phorbol esters are reported to mimic the action of diacyl glycerol,
activator of protein kinase C, which regulates different signal transduction pathways. Interference with
the activity of protein kinase C affects a number of processes including, phospholipid and protein
synthesis, enzyme activities, DNA synthesis, phosphorylation of proteins, cell differentiation and gene
Agroclimatic Conditions, Chemical and Nutritional Characterization of
Different Provenances of Jatropha Curcas L. from Mexico 405
expression. They are also co-carcinogens and have purgative and skin irritant activities. In humans,
accidental poisoning by Jatropha seeds has been reported to elicit giddiness, vomiting and diarrhea.
Mortality has also been reported in a number of animal species mice, chicks and goats, pigs (Chivandi,
et al.,2006; Goel et al., 2007) when force fed to these species.
The potential of the non-toxic varieties as protein rich food for humans must be evaluated. It is
worth noting from our earlier studies that the amino acid composition of toxic and non-toxic genotypes
is almost similar. The levels of all essential amino acids except lysine are comparable with the FAO
reference protein for a growing child of 2 to 5 years of age. A comparison between the amino acid
composition of Jatropha meal and soya beans revealed an almost similar pattern for all essential amino
acids, except lysine and sulphur amino acids. Lysine level is lower and sulphur amino acids higher in
the Jatropha meal. The kernel meal from the non-toxic Jatropha could replace 75% of the fish meal
protein in fish diets without sacrificing growth performance and nutrient utilization (Makkar and
Becker, 2009), suggesting high protein quality of Jatropha kernel meal.
Previous studies by Guemes, et al. (2008) reported the use of flour from the non-toxic J. curcas
kernels to fortify wheat flour for preparation of bread. The best fortification of Jatropha flour,
determined based on the optimum fermentation of the dough, was at its incorporation at 5%. Also, the
non toxic oil has a potential to be used as an edible oil and the higher level of linoleic acid could be
considered advantageous for human health (Basha, et al.,2009; Makkar, et al.,2009). Systematic
investigations on the comparative seed yields of toxic and non-toxic J. curcas and disease
susceptibility should also be conducted.
4. Conclusion
The provenance trials using the non-toxic genotypes are in progress and the most promising
provenances would be used for agronomic trials at the Centro de Desarrollo de Productos Bióticos -
IPN to generate more information about their productivity and seed properties. Systematic
investigations on the comparative seed yields of toxic and non-toxic J. curcas and disease
susceptibility should also be conducted.
Acknowledgement
Financial support of this work by Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Project SIP 20080627.
DAAD-Germany is gratefully acknowledged. The authors thank Mr. Hermann Baumgartner for
excellent technical help.
406 Jorge Martinez Herrera, Alma L. Martinez ayala,
Harinder Makkar, George Francis and Klaus Becker
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... An edible variety of Jatropha curcas is also available and known since centuries by local populations in Mexico (see Section 3.7). From a phenotypical and compositional point of view, this edible cultivar is similar to the non-edible varieties Makkar et al., 2011;Valdes-Rodr ıguez et al., 2013) but contains PEs at concentrations below limits of detection (LOD) by different analytical methods (LOD as low as 0.026 lg PEs/g kernel by HPLC-UV) Mart ınez-Herrera et al., 2010;Devappa et al., 2013;Baldini et al., 2014b;Faria-Machado et al., 2019). ...
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