The rind of rambutan, which is normally discarded was found to contain extremely high antioxidant activity when assessed using several methods. Although having a yield of only 18%, the ethanolic rambutan rind extract had a total phenolic content of 762 ± 10 mg GAE/g extract, which is comparable to that of a commercial preparation of grape seed extract. Comparing the extract's pro-oxidant capabilities with vitamin C, α-tocopherol, grape seed and green tea, the rind had the lowest pro-oxidant capacity. In addition, the extract at 100 μg/ml was seen to limit oxidant-induced cell death (DPPH at 50 μM) by apoptosis to an extent similar to that of grape seed. The extracts were not cytotoxic to normal mouse fibroblast cells or splenocytes while the powderised rind was seen to have heavy metals contents far below the permissible levels for nutraceuticals. Our study for the first time reveals the high phenolic content, low pro-oxidant capacity and strong antioxidant activity of the extract from rind of Nephelium lappaceum. This extract, either alone or in combination with other active principles, can be used in cosmetic, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical applications.
- Free radical-scavenging activity
- Nephelium lappaceum
- Phenolic content