With reference to the applications of the Castor Oil, consider the following statements:
1.Due to higher protein content, Castor Cake is one of the popular livestock feed
2.Castor Oil has been found a potential source of bio-diesel of high quality
Which among the above statements is/ are correct?

Answer: [D] Neither 1 nor 2 is correct

There is around 46-55% Castor Oil in Castor seeds by weight. It is viscous, pale yellow, non-volatile liquid and its main component is the ricinoleic acid as main fatty acid. The high content of this acid make it suitable for chemical reactions and that is one of the reasons that it is used in the pharma industry.  Castor cake is not edible because of presence of toxins in Castor Cake such as ricin, ricinine etc. and they are allergens. There have been some studies to detoxify the Castor Cake, but commercially, it has not been used as animal feed so far. Thus, the first statement is incorrect. It is true that the oil has biodiesel qualities, but below 50°C, it’s viscosity is so much that it is not as use ful as other sources. The other problem is the Hygroscopy of this oil, and  relatively higher water content is a problem in uses as biodiesel. Thus, second statement is also incorrect.

This question is a part of GKToday's Integrated IAS General Studies Module