Testimonials Shop News Specials Catalogue Contact Forum Blog My Account My Edibles

Native MT buy 3 get 1 FREEshop opening hoursSaturday opening time
Forum Rules | Updates

<< Back to Daleys Fruit Tree Forum

Is Malabar chestnut toxic?

    14 responses

Jeremy starts with ...
Pachira aquatica/insignis (Malabar/Guyana chestnut, Saba nut) nuts contain a lot of oil, some of which is composed of cyclopropenic fatty acids, which are possibly toxic, even carcinogenic. The current FAO website includes this information, which appears to be based on studies last published in 1989 http://www.fao.org/docrep/V8929E/v8929e06.htm). Does anyone know whether there has been any research in the last 20 years to confirm or refute this? Surely if they are toxic they should not continue to be sold as food plants!
About the Author
J4
Rockhampton, QLD
18th September 2012 9:48pm
#UserID: 7253
Posts: 2
View All J4's Edible Fruit Trees
Reply | | Remember to LIKE this Answer(0) LIKE this Question (1)
People who Like this Question Alicia
VF says...
Hi Jeremy, your assertion may be true,but there are many compounds in food which are harmful( eg.oxalic acid found in many leafy greens,rhubarb, carambola for starter. Even the browned bits on toast or bbq'd steak). But given that we eat a varied diet,(hopefully nutritionally balanced), and there are many healthful components too contained in these foods,a small,infrequent amount is not likely to be a problem unless you have other underlying health issues. As the saying goes, "in moderation". If you do find further studies though, please post them.
About the Author
VF
Wongawallan
22nd September 2012 11:22pm
#UserID: 6795
Posts: 736
View All VF's Edible Fruit Trees

Reply | | Remember to LIKE this Answer(0) LIKE this Question (0)
J. says...
Hi VF, thanks for your interest. I do take your point about moderation ("the dose makes the poison"), however that doesn't mean that everything one eats should be in small amounts infrequently. My goal in growing my own food is good health, not just new or better taste experiences. And though I can afford to eat small amounts of a wide variety of foods, what about those in developing countries where this hardy plant has been quite reasonably suggested as a valuable source of much-needed protein (e.g. "provision nut" per W.H.O.)? Perhaps what is thought to be helping them is actually slowly poisoning them? I am really keen for good data on whether this nut has significant chronic toxicity. The data so far (though now old) suggests that it should be sold with a warning at present.
About the Author
J4
Rockhampton, QLD
24th September 2012 2:16pm
#UserID: 7253
Posts: 2
View All J4's Edible Fruit Trees
Reply | | Remember to LIKE this Answer(0) LIKE this Question (0)
Alicia says...
I agree, It would be good to have some solid information on the toxicity of the nuts. We are looking to grow for self sufficiency and health combined. I don't want to risk making a harmful nut part of our staple diet. Can Daleys give us an answer on this?? Surely they have access to this information...?
About the Author
Alicia
Brisbane
16th December 2014 4:44pm
#UserID: 9756
Posts: 2
View All Alicia's Edible Fruit Trees
Reply | | Remember to LIKE this Answer(0) LIKE this Question (0)
sternus1 says...
There's a bit of a dearth of information relating to malabar not toxicity. I've only ever been able to find one PR study and it's from the 80's. It's quite possible they got the species mixed up also. Has happened before.
About the Author
sternus1
Australia
16th December 2014 7:17pm
#UserID: 8314
Posts: 1318
View All sternus1's Edible Fruit Trees

Reply | | Remember to LIKE this Answer(0) LIKE this Question (0)
Alicia says...
Did a little browsing and found this study 2011: Compositional and structural studies of the oils from two edible seeds: Tiger nut, Cyperus esculentum, and asiato, Pachira insignis, from Ghana

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0963996911004157

States: High content of cyclopropenoid FAs makes asiato (pachira insignis) oil unsuitable for food uses. ► Good yield of asiato oil makes it attractive for development for non-food uses...

Pretty dissapointed but might be a good bio diesel experiment.
About the Author
Alicia
Brisbane
17th December 2014 9:36am
#UserID: 9756
Posts: 2
View All Alicia's Edible Fruit Trees
Reply | | Remember to LIKE this Answer(0) LIKE this Question (0)
Don C says...
Just found:
Food and Public Health 2012, 2(4): 104-109 DOI: 10.5923/j.fph.20120204.04
Chemical Characterization and Stability of the Bombacopsis glabra Nut Oil

This states that for Bombacopsis glabra (synonym Pachira glabra) the nuts "are not suitable for human consumption due to the presence of harmful substances, such as triacylglycerols of cyclopropenoid fatty acids"

A bit sad. I've just planted one, as it seemed a good option for nuts in my area. Probably should go and cut it down and find an alternative. It was doing well and one of the two pecans I planted at the same time suddenly died.
About the Author
Don C
Karangi
19th December 2014 7:31am
#UserID: 9420
Posts: 22
View All Don C's Edible Fruit Trees
Reply | | Remember to LIKE this Answer(0) LIKE this Question (0)
Original Post was last edited: 20th December 2014 6:54am
Diana says...
Convincing- Daleys should update their information on this species.
About the Author
Diana
Brisbane
19th December 2014 10:32am
#UserID: 3004
Posts: 279
View All Diana's Edible Fruit Trees

Reply | | Remember to LIKE this Answer(0) LIKE this Question (0)
Carl76 says...
So Daley's one is the good one.
Great work clearing up the information Sternus.
Thanks
About the Author
Carl76
Wilston 4051
19th December 2014 6:34pm
#UserID: 9276
Posts: 177
View All Carl76's Edible Fruit Trees
Reply | | Remember to LIKE this Answer(0) LIKE this Question (0)
sternus1 says...
Ok, so I spoke to Oscar about this, who has forgotten more about edible exotics than I've ever known and owns fruitlovers.com and he pointed out that this article doesn't refer to the nut that is sold as Malabar chestnut by Daleys, which is Pachira aquatica.

The toxic variety is Pachira insignis. according to Oscar they are distinguishable by the flowers. PI has a red flower, while Aquitica has white flowers. So as long as your Pachira has white flowers, you're golden.
About the Author
sternus1
Australia
19th December 2014 6:43pm
#UserID: 8314
Posts: 1318
View All sternus1's Edible Fruit Trees

Reply | | Remember to LIKE this Answer(1) LIKE this Question (0)
People who Like this Answer: Alicia

Original Post was last edited: 19th December 2014 6:43pm
Shazza1 says...
This article tested the effect of P. aquatica seed on rats. 5 out of 6 died in a short time with major damage to internal organs. Lots of species in this family have the probable culprit of cyclopropenoic acids in their fat, so I think assertions that one species is toxic and another is fine is premature and unreliable, especially given how similar the species are making them easy to misidentify. I have planted a few dozen P. insignis seedlings in my orchards recently and they will be coming straight back out after reading all of this.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/223721020_Composition_and_nutritional_properties_of_seeds_from_Pachira_aquatica_Aubl_Sterculia_striata_St_Hil_et_Naud_and_Terminalia_catappa_Linn
About the Author
Shazza1
pomona
25th March 2016 8:56pm
#UserID: 13588
Posts: 1
View All Shazza1's Edible Fruit Trees
Reply | | Remember to LIKE this Answer(0) LIKE this Question (0)
Vojtech says...
The following article suggests the CPFA toxins may come from either the way the nuts are processed or from the endemic microorganisms and fungus that convert the oils from nuts like Walnuts into the toxic CPFAs.

Biomed Pap Med Fac Univ Palacky Olomouc Czech Repub. 2008, 152(1):41–45.
L. O. Hanus, P. Goldshlag, V. M. Dembitsky
IDENTIFICATION OF CYCLOPROPYL FATTY ACIDS IN WALNUT (JUGLANS REGIA L.) OIL

Probably the same applies to Pachyra aquatica nuts where the CPFAs are found.

There has been no enforced removal of walnuts from our supermarkets or from nurseries so I would not expect it to happen for Pachyra aquatica either.

It is possible the levels of the toxic CPFAs vary from one location to another, depending on the endemic levels and types of local bacteria and fungal strains that are potentially responsible for converting the good oils to the toxic CPFAs.
About the Author
Vojtech
Barellan point
3rd December 2017 4:07pm
#UserID: 17455
Posts: 2
View All Vojtech's Edible Fruit Trees
Reply | | Remember to LIKE this Answer(0) LIKE this Question (1)
People who Like this Question Vojtech

Original Post was last edited: 3rd December 2017 4:18pm
Glennis says...
I have the one from Daleys . Should i stop eating the nuts ?
About the Author
Glennis
Manly West
4th December 2017 7:50am
#UserID: 9079
Posts: 12
View All Glennis's Edible Fruit Trees

Reply | | Remember to LIKE this Answer(0) LIKE this Question (0)
Vojtech says...
Hanus et al. 2008 (publication listed previously) have written that CPFAs are carcinogenic, cocarcinogenic, and have medical effects on animals. According to them "e;CPFA in food is dangerous to human health"e;.

Concerning the results of the rat feeding experiment...the surviving rat had enlarged organs including the stomach, liver, pancreas, kidneys, lungs and also had spleen atrophy.

Relevant questions:

1. Have our Health Departments determined the amount of toxins in Australian Pachira aquatica nuts?
2. What regions in Australia contain higher levels of the toxins found in the nuts?
3. What processing methods must be avoided to prevent the formation of the toxic CPFAs? Boiling vs frying vs baking? Storage...fresh vs dried? etc.
4. How much does a human need to eat before we see enlargement of the stomach, liver, pancreas, kidneys, heart and lungs, spleen atrophy and carcinogenesis?
5. How much does a human need to eat to die from the health effects?
6. What do we need to do to encourage the government to do this necessary research and publish the results?

Obviously, no one is going to test the effects of the nut toxins on humans as it would not pass ethical considerations. However, perhaps a survey or records of human patients where eating of the nut has been statistically associated with the known medical conditions as in the known rat model is required.
About the Author
Vojtech
Barellan point
4th December 2017 2:50pm
#UserID: 17455
Posts: 2
View All Vojtech's Edible Fruit Trees
Reply | | Remember to LIKE this Answer(1) LIKE this Question (0)
People who Like this Answer: Peter91

Original Post was last edited: 4th December 2017 3:32pm
Carl76 says...
Glennis
How does it taste ? Any of that stale nutty taste typical to old walnuts !
About the Author
Carl76
Wilston 4051
6th December 2017 5:18pm
#UserID: 9276
Posts: 177
View All Carl76's Edible Fruit Trees
Reply | | Remember to LIKE this Answer(0) LIKE this Question (0)

REPLY to this forum

Email: Password:
display Name: Suburb:  
Pictures: Add Another Picture
Body:
 
Remember to include a picture if possible

<< Back to Daleys Fruit Tree Forum