The nutritional benefits and functional components of Chuta nuts
Consumers are progressively focusing on foods offering health-promoting characteristics. Over the past few years, nut consumption and the need for plant proteins have increased.
This is hardly surprising, since various studies and clinical trials have revealed the health advantages of regular nut intake. So far, chuta nuts and their functional components are unknown to most food experts and consumers. However, this tasty food innovation holds great potential for the food industry as it is particularly rich in proteins, unsaturated fatty acids, and minerals and has low contents of carbs, sodium and sugar. This article provides an insight into the nutritional benefits and functional components of chuta.
Chuta® is a registered trademark by the company JatroSolutions and it is grown from edible varieties of Jatropha curcas L. developed by the same company. The plant is a drought-resilient perennial shrub that grows in tropical and subtropical regions. Whereas the non-edible J. curcas is mostly known for its uses in biofuel production or for regenerating degraded lands in rural regions, the edible variety, from here on called chuta, holds great potential for the food industry. Nuts are known as nutrient-rich and high-energy snacks with health-promoting properties. According to several studies, different types of nuts such as walnuts and peanuts reduce the risk of cardiovascular and coronary heart diseases (1). Additionally, there is some evidence on positive effects on blood pressure and cancer prevention (1). While many findings about tree nuts and peanuts have been discussed in scientific literature as well as in media coverage, the chuta nut and its nutritional characteristics are hardly known.
Native to the Mexican Veracruz region, the edible J. curcas has been historically consumed for centur ...