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MULTIPLE USES OF SIMAROUBA
 

All parts of the Simarouba plant namely, seed, shell, fruit pulp, leaf, leaf litter, unwanted branches, stem, bark, and root generate products that are useful in the production of food, fuel, manure, timber, medicine etc.

Food
Oil Simarouba seeds contain 60-75% oil that can be easily refined, bleached, deodorised and fractionated. It is suitable for edible and non-edible purposes.

Edible uses
From 1950 onwards, in El Salvador and other Central American countries the oil is marketed for edible purposes under the trade name “MANTECA VEGETAL NIEVE”, (Manteca = butter; Vegetal = vegetable; Nieve = snow).

In other developing countries, also it can be used to manufacture vanaspati, vegetable butter and/or margarine. The RBD oil is further fractionated to separate the liquid and solid fractions. The liquid fraction with very high oleic acid content (about 85%) is comparable to olive oil in its chemical composition. This oil is free from bad cholesterol (free fatty acids 0.06%). The solid fraction rich in stearic and palmitic acids can be used as coco-butter substitutes (CBS) or coco-butter extenders in confectionery and bakery industries. The palmito-stearin fraction is also useful in the preparation of ice cream and mayonnaise.

Beverages and jam from fruit pulp
The fruit pulp contains about 11% sugars. The pulp (about 8-10 tons/ha/year) can be used in the preparation of squash, beverage and jam, which are very well accepted because of their attractive natural color, flavour, and good taste. The fruits can be a source of natural colourant.

Physico-chemical properties of simarouba fat
(Armour, 1959)

Free fatty acid

0.06%

Iodine value (WIJS)

53.8

Saponification value

191.0

Unsaponifiable matter

0.40%

Refractive index at 250 C

1.4556

Titer

47°C

Congealing point

Smoke point

20oC

138°C

Melting point

27°C

Colour(lovibond) Liquid

Solid

10 Yellow – 0.8 red

Snow white

Flavour

Very good

Texture

Excellent

Plasticity

Keeping quality

Excellent

At least 6 months


COMPOSITION OF ACEITUNO FAT

Linoleic acid

3.30%

Linolenic acid

0.35%

Diene


Triene


Palmitic acid

0.13


0.002


10.90%

Stearic acid

25.60%


Fuel
The filtered crude oil can be used to blend with diesel @ 5-10%. The surplus oil produced can be subjected to trans-esterification to manufacture biodiesel, a 100% substitute for diesel (>3000 kg/ha/year).

The sugar rich fruit pulp an be used in the manufacture of ethanol (800–1000 litres/ha/year)

The oil-cake, fruit pulp, leaf litter, and unwanted wood can be used to generate biogas. The shell and waste wood can be used in thermal power generation.

The lignocellulose contained in the huge amount of biomass produced (about 15 tonnes/ha/year) can be used as feedstock for manufacturing second generation biofuels.

Manure
Aceituno press cake. The press cake (1,000-2,000 kg/ha/year) is rich in nitrogen (7.7 - 8.1%), phosphorus (1.07%) and potash (1.24%). There are also traces of calcium, magnesium, and sodium. It is valuable organic manure. Leaf litter (20-40 kg / tree / year) (10,000-15,000 kg/ha/year) makes good manure, improving the fertility status of the soil. As earthworms relish it very much, it can be valuable in the manufacture of vermicompost. The addition of leaf litter also increases the organic carbon content of the soil.

In case it is not possible to use the fruit pulp for preparing squash, beverage and/or jam, the fruit pulp may as well be used in the production of vermicompost of excellent quality.

Timber
The main trunk of a ten-year old tree has 5 – 10 cubic feet of wood. The wood is light, attractively grained, moderately strong, generally less preferred by wood eating insects; hence useful in making yoke for oxen, light furniture, toys, packing material, pulp (for paper industry) and matches. Waste wood is good fuel.

Medicine
The chemicals present in leaf, fruit pulp and seed are known to possess the medicinal properties such as amoebicide, analgesic, anthelmintic, antibacterial, antidysenteric, antileukemic, antimalarial, antimicrobial, antitumorous, antiviral, astringent, cytotoxic, emmenagogue, febrifuge, skin hydrator, stomachic, sudorific, tonic, vermifuge. They are useful in curing amoebiasis, gastritis, ulcers in the alimentary system, diarrhea, chikun gunya and malaria.

Other Uses
Non-edible uses of the oil. The oil and its derivatives are useful for making pharmaceuticals, surfactants, detergents, soaps, shampoos, cosmetics, plasticizers, stabilizers, lubricants, grease, emulsifiers, paints, varnishes, candles etc.

The shells (endocarp) (about 4.5 – 9.0 tons/ha/year) can be used in particleboard industry, in activated charcoal industry, in the manufacture of briquettes to use as fuel. They can be pulverised and added to enrich the compost since they contain about 1.24% potash in them. They can be also used to heat the boilers, as they possess high calorific value. The resultant ash can be put back to soil to enrich the potash content. The smooth ash blended with a little soap can be also used in the manufacture of dishwashing powder.

The paradise tree also improves soil health. This ecofriendly tree is ideal for watershed areas, well suited for soil and water conservation and wasteland reclamation.

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