Re: BIO/LAW: FDA and Olestra

From: James Rogers (
Date: Mon Feb 19 2001 - 11:59:17 MST

At 10:56 PM 2/18/2001 -0500, David Sill wrote:
>James Rogers <> wrote:
> >
> > Ricin is a cytotoxin (ribosome inactivator actually) and has nothing to do
> > with Castor oil, other than originating from the same plant.
>Maybe I was misinformed, although I don't see how castor oil can avoid
>having minute trace amounts of ricin since the oil comes from the bean,
>which contains ricin. Yes, I know ricin is water soluble--that would
>certainly prevent high concentrations of ricin in the oil, but insolubility
>is really just very low solubility.

Castor oil is extracted from the bean meal with organic solvents (usually
hexane, CCl4, and the usual culprits). Ricin is extracted from the bean
meal using simple salt extraction methods.

Very low solubility can easily mean one molecule per liter of solvent or
less at saturation, so very low solubility can be effectively equivalent to
insoluble for any finite quantity of solvent. A microgram/liter of ricin
in Castor oil would be well below the noise floor for that toxin.

-James Rogers

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