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Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research

On-line version ISSN 1414-431X

Abstract

FERNANDES, K.V. et al. Simultaneous allergen inactivation and detoxification of castor bean cake by treatment with calcium compounds. Braz J Med Biol Res [online]. 2012, vol.45, n.11, pp. 1002-1010.  Epub Aug 23, 2012 ISSN 1414-431X.

Ricinus communis L. is of great economic importance due to the oil extracted from its seeds. Castor oil has been used for pharmaceutical and industrial applications, as a lubricant or coating agent, as a component of plastic products, as a fungicide or in the synthesis of biodiesel fuels. After oil extraction, a castor cake with a large amount of protein is obtained. However, this by-product cannot be used as animal feed due to the presence of toxic (ricin) and allergenic (2S albumin) proteins. Here, we propose two processes for detoxification and allergen inactivation of the castor cake. In addition, we establish a biological test to detect ricin and validate these detoxification processes. In this test, Vero cells were treated with ricin, and cell death was assessed by cell counting and measurement of lactate dehydrogenase activity. The limit of detection of the Vero cell assay was 10 ng/mL using a concentration of 1.6 x 105 cells/well. Solid-state fermentation (SSF) and treatment with calcium compounds were used as cake detoxification processes. For SSF, Aspergillus niger was grown using a castor cake as a substrate, and this cake was analyzed after 24, 48, 72, and 96 h of SSF. Ricin was eliminated after 24 h of SSF treatment. The cake was treated with 4 or 8% Ca(OH)2 or CaO, and both the toxicity and the allergenic properties were entirely abolished. A by-product free of toxicity and allergens was obtained.

Keywords : Ricinus communis; 2S albumin; Ricin; Biodiesel fuel; Solid-state fermentation; Vero cell.

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