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CHUTA – A Totonacan Snack Food

Hardman Agribusiness has described Jatropha as a plant of exceptional utility: high quality industrial oil, feedstock for biodiesel, high protein meal as a component in animal nutrition, phorbol esters for bio-pesticides, kernel shells for high calorific boiler fuel – and now “CHUTA” – toasted Jatropha kernels as a novel snack-food.

In September, JatroSolutions GmbH, the German crop science company, established in affiliation with University of Hohenheim, (one of the leading world centres for agronomy studies and research), introduced toasted Jatropha kernels under the brand name “CHUTA” at the “iba” in Munich. The iba has been the meeting place for experts of the bakery, pastry, and snack trade since 1949. It is the platform for the introduction of new products and product innovations to the international trade. The iba is a recognized meeting point for bakers, pastry chefs, restaurateurs, café owners, hotel professionals, and caterers as well as decision makers from the food retail market.

Regular visitors to the HAB website will recall that Jatropha, as a member of the family Euphorbiaceae, is distinguished by two variants: the common toxic and the non-toxic. CHUTA toasted kernels are from the non-toxic variety. The name CHUTA was inspired by the name given to kernels in the Totonaca culture of Veracruz, Mexico where the kernels from the non-toxic variety of Jatropha have been incorporated in human diets since ancient times. According to the product information, CHUTA is an excellent protein source. The seed kernels contain over 80% of unsaturated fatty acids and are ideal for use in snacks and energy bars.

Besides the inclusion of non-toxic Jatropha kernels in its dietary traditions, the Totonaca culture is perhaps best known for the remarkable pre-Hispanic city, “El Tajin”. Covering more than 3,017 acres/1,220 hectares, El Tajin has been declared a World Cultural Heritage Site by the UNESCO.

Ruins_of_El_Tajín_2El Tajin (“City or Place of Thunder” in Totonaca) is located in the Totonacapan region, in the north of the state of Veracruz. Founded in 4 A.D. the city was an important political and religious centre within the Gulf region of Mexico reaching its peak between 800 and 1200 A.D.

For more information about CHUTA, JatroSolutions and the crop science that JatroSolutions has developed to support the production of Jatropha commodities, please visit