Safety of hydrothermally treated kernels from edible Jatropha curcas L. (Chuta) as a novel food pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2015/2283

Dominique Turck, Torsten Bohn, Jacqueline Castenmiller, Stefaan De Henauw, Karen Ildico Hirsch-Ernst, Alexandre Maciuk, Inge Mangelsdorf, Harry J. McArdle, Androniki Naska, Carmen Pelaez, Kristina Pentieva, Alfonso Siani, Frank Thies, Sophia Tsabouri, Marco Vinceti, Francesco Cubadda, Thomas Frenzel, Marina Heinonen, Rosangela Marchelli, Monika Neuhäuser-BertholdMorten Poulsen, Miguel Prieto Maradona, Josef Rudolf Schlatter, Henk van Loveren, Paolo Colombo, Helle Katrine Knutsen, EFSA Panel on Nutrition, Novel Foods, Food Allergens (NDA)

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Following a request from the European Commission, the EFSA Panel on Nutrition, Novel Foods and Food Allergens (NDA) was asked to deliver an opinion on hydrothermally treated kernels from edible Jatropha curcas (Chuta) as a novel food (NF) pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2015/2283. Although Jatropha curcas is generally considered a toxic plant due to the presence of phorbol esters (PEs), edible varieties exist in Central America. The applicant has developed a breeding programme for an edible cultivar and proposes the kernels from this cultivar as an NF as whole kernels or fragments thereof to be used as a snack or as a food ingredient. Procedures are in place to avoid commingling with non-edible kernels, with the last steps being the analytical control of PEs concentrations in all produced batches. The Panel considers that the production process of the NF is sufficiently described and that the information provided on the composition of the NF is sufficient for its characterisation. Components of the NF were tested for genotoxicity applying the standard in vitro test battery and no genotoxic concerns have been identified. In a conservative scenario for exposure to PEs from the NF, it was assumed that all kernels contain PEs at the level of detection of the analytical method. When comparing the estimated maximum exposure to PEs with a reference point from a subchronic study in pigs, a margin of exposure ≥ 900 is obtained, which is considered sufficiently large. The presence of anti-nutritional factors does not pose safety concerns as they are within the ranges found in vegetables. The Panel concludes that the NF is safe under the proposed conditions of use.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere06998
JournalEFSA Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


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