What are phorbol esters?

Jatropha naturally contains chemical compounds called phorbol esters in varying concentrations. These compounds serve as protection against animals feeding on jatropha plants as they negatively affect the digestive tract. Furthermore, an insecticidal effect of phorbol esters on some insect species has been scientifically proven. Although phorbol esters are beneficial for the jatropha plant, they restrict the use of the protein rich press cake left after oil extraction.

 

Phorbol molecule

 

Animal feed from phorbol free cultivars

The residues remaining after oil extraction have to be detoxified to remove phorbol esters before feeding it to animals. Here, cultivars without phorbol esters have the advantage that detoxification of residues remaining after oil extraction is not needed. Thus, they can directly be used for animal feeding and this represents an important additional revenue.

 

First phorbol free cultivars by JatroSelect

Although phorbol free cultivars have bigger seeds with higher oil content than conventional jatropha cultivars, yield is currently at a lower level.

Our breeding efforts are dedicated to steadily increase the yield level and stability of all cultivars and create new cultivars with combinations of advantageous traits. In October 2014, the first two phorbol free cultivars named JSPE001 and JSPE002 were proudly released by JatroSelect.

 

Environmental performance of Jatropha