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Xuta (edible variety of Jatropha curcas L.) roasted and ground seed kernels: a traditional food from third country with safety concerns according to EFSA

Following the notification from Jatropower AG (Switzerland), EFSA has evaluated the safety of the Xuta roasted and ground seed kernels, an edible variety of Jatropha curcas L., as a traditional food from third country.

EFSA notes the potential presence of low levels of phorbol esters in the product. Phorbol esters represent the potential major hazard in the use of Jatropha kernels and thus in the traditional food. Phorbol esters do not induce tumours per se but promote tumour growth and may act as cocarcinogens. A no observed adverse effect level (NOAEL) was established by CONTAM Panel for Phorbol esters in 2015. However, due to limitations in the toxicological dataset and the characteristics of phorbol esters (protein kinase C activation and structural alert for genotoxicity), a sufficient margin of exposure cannot be defined. In addition, EFSA Panel highlights the insufficient information on the intended uses and use levels of the tradition food to allow for a proper intake exposure assessment and the resulting impossibility to calculate a margin of exposure based on the NOAEL for phorbol esters. EFSA panel also highlights the limited knowledge and the uncertainties regarding the genotoxic potential of phorbol esters and thus of the traditional food.

Consequently, EFSA considers that the traditional food may pose a safety risk to human health. Thus, EFSA raises safety objections to the placing on the market within the EU of the traditional food.

EFSA (European Food Safety Authority), 2022. Technical Report on the notification of xuta (edible variety of Jatropha curcasL.) roasted and ground seed kernels as a traditional food from a third country pursuant to Article 14 of Regulation (EU) 2015/2283. EFSA supporting publication 2022:EN-7197. 18pp. doi:10.2903/sp.efsa.2022.EN-7197