Castor Oil

Authored by: R.T. Gahukar , Sheetal Mital

Green Pesticides Handbook

Print publication date:  May  2017
Online publication date:  July  2017

Print ISBN: 9781498759380
eBook ISBN: 9781315153131
Adobe ISBN:


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Castor as an oil crop has gained importance in the global market, with its demand increasing annually by 3%–5% (Anjani 2012). This point is pertinent to recent development in the biodiesel feedstock supply, and of significant importance in the industrial production of pharmaceuticals. Therefore, the seed price is attractive for farmers who are inclined to cultivate castor crop in place of nonremunerative crops. Consequently, a lot of field research has been undertaken on oil extraction methods and the physicochemical properties for improving oil quality. As a pesticide, castor oil can be an ideal eco-friendly and cheap control measure against field pests and disease pathogens. Its use as medicinal product, however, needs intensive studies for human safety. Only a few studies have reported the isolation of essential oils from castor oil and their use compared with medicinal and aromatic plants. Thus, literature on this subject is scanty, and not easily available in compiled form. To close up this gap, the current review gathers information on the botany of the plant, compares oil extraction methods and physicochemical properties, and elaborates on oil utilization in crop and seed protection and also in pharmaceutical and industrial production. In Table 18.1, the local names for the castor bean plant used in different countries are given.

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