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International Food Research Journal 21(1): 25-31 (2014)
Journal homepage: http://www.ifrj.upm.edu.my
1Issara, U., 2,3Zzaman, W. and 2*Yang, T.A.
1Food Technology Program, School of Agro-Industry, Mae Fah Luang University,
Chiang Rai 57100, Thailand
2Food Technology Division, School of Technology Industrial, University Sains Malaysia, Pulau Penang,
3Department of Food Engineering and Tea Technology, Shahjalal University of Science and Technology,
Rambutan seed fat as a potential source of cocoa butter substitute in
This review of literature provides an overview on the compositional data of Rambutan
(Nephelium lappaceum Linn.) and rambutan seed fat for usage in chocolate product. It is a
seasonal fruit native of west Malaysia and Sumatra. It is harvested when the fruit have reached
optimum visual and organoleptic quality. Rambutans rapidly deteriorate unless proper handling
techniques are employed. The rambutan fruits are deseeded during processing and these seeds
(~ 4-9 g/100 g) are a waste by-product of the canning industry. And some studies was showed
that rambutan seed possesses a relatively high amount of fat and these fats are similar to those
of cocoa fat, although have some different physical properties. In the present research about
rambutan seed fat continued increasing due to from previous research was found that this fat
can use as substitute in cocoa butter for chocolate products. Therefore, the extracted fat from
rambutan seed not only could be used for manufacturing candles, soaps, and fuels, but it also
has a possible to be a source of natural edible fat with feasible industry use.
Cocoa butter (CB) is an important component in
chocolate production. Triglycerides (triacylglycerols)
are the main component present in cocoa butter,
oils and fats. Moreover, cocoa butter is the only
continuous fat phase in chocolate products (Lannes
et al., 2003). Nowadays; the cocoa price is increasing
continuously day by day. Therefore, researchers
have been efforts to nd other fats to replace cocoa
butter in chocolate manufacturing for many reasons
such economic and technological (Dewettinck and
Depypere, 2011). In addition, from previous study
found that rambutan fats (RF) are similar of cocoa fat,
although in some physical properties in rambutan fat
shown different. So, the rambutan fats can be usually
used in the sweets products. The lipid food group is
refers from the word of “fat”, and it is including used
to mean both fats and oils. The ‘invisible’ fat; i.e.
un-separate oil and fats in foods such as grains, nuts,
dairy products, eggs, and meat etc. are the normal fat
that our intake around more than 50% (FAO, 1977).
Moreover, oilseeds such as sesame seed, soy bean,
cotton seed and oil are a source of normally fat and
oil obtained (Gutcho, 1979; Birker and Padley, 1987;
O’Brien, 1998). Fats and lipids are key composition
in food, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals etc., as
main bodies of end products, or as matrices in which
cosmetic and pharmacological ne chemicals are
dispersed (Gunstone and Padley, 1997). In general,
the vegetable and animal fats and oils are natural fats
and lipids resources which contain various molecular
species having different some chemical and physical
properties. Fats and oils are alike in both made up
of fatty acid molecules. Because of these fatty acids
differ in their molecular structure, so their behavior
during processing will show in different also (Ghotra
et al., 2002). According to Sato (2001) shown that
fats and lipids crystallization behavior have two
major signicances in industrial: 1) process of end
products made of fat crystals, such as chocolate,
margarine, shortening, and whipping cream, etc., and
2) the separation of specic fats and lipids materials
from natural resources. The physical, chemical and
nutritional properties of fats and oils are limiting
factors for their usage in industry sectors. Thus,
obtaining nutritionally products in the food industry
will highly depend on the physical and/or chemical
characteristics of the fat and oil formulations (Bertoli
et al., 1995; Solı́s-Fuentes et al., 2004). In addition,
in the food manufacture, physical and chemical
characteristics, thermal behavior and phase changes
Rambutan seed fat
Nephelium lappaceum Linn.
Cocoa butter substitute
Received: 18 May 2013
Received in revised form:
17 September 2013
Accepted: 19 September 2013
26 Issara et al./IFRJ 21(1): 25-31
are the particularly important factors (Bertoli et al.,
1995; O’Brien, 1998).
Chocolate is a complex suspension containing
around 70% of solid particles from sugar and cocoa,
in a continuous fat phase. It is a solid state at room
temperature (~25oC), and on the other hand, it can
melts at oral temperature (~37oC) to generating a
smooth suspension of solid particles in cocoa butter
(Fernandes et al., 2013). There are different types
of chocolate (dark, milk and white), according to
their composition in terms of milk fat and cocoa
butter, therefore it resulting to the nal products
have different compositions of carbohydrate, fat
and protein (Beckett, 2000). Amount of fat around
25-35% is contained in the most chocolate product,
although ice-cream coatings are much higher and
some special products like cooking chocolate are
lower in fat (Zzaman and Yang, 2013). However,
actually the level of fat present will depend on the
process being used and this affects the texture of the
nished chocolate products. So, high-quality tablet of
chocolate is probably to have a higher fat content and
a lower particle size than a chocolate that is used to
coat a biscuit making (Beckett, 2000; Afoakwa et al.,
2007). Afoakwa et al. (2008) described that during
chocolate processing; a high quality of product is
obtaining from composition and the crystallization of
cocoa butter play an important role. The crystalline
state and the proportion of solid fat are important in
determining the melting character in nished products
during chocolate manufacturing. Differential scanning
calorimetry (DSC) is used to characterize changes in
chocolate melting proles and investigate the relative
amounts of each crystallization state (Tabouret,
1987; Ziegleder and Schwingshandl, 1998; Walter
and Cornillon, 2001, 2002) and peaks corresponding
to latent heat, which it is observed the temperature
ranges related to melting point of specic polymorphs
in the chocolate products (McFarlane, 1999).
Efforts to understand for need of consumer
during the development of food products is very vital
in companies preferences including their perception
of sensory and non-sensory characteristics of foods
to assure product that can distribute and success in
the market (Moskowitz and Hartmann, 2008; Tuorila
and Monteleone, 2009). The sensory evaluation
by consumers, their overall liking through their
perception of food products and many of research
have shown that the sensory properties of food are the
most important factors in food choice of consumer
(Torres-Moreno et al., 2012). Many research has
been shown that, nowadays, non-sensory attributes
is affect to consumer likes and food selection such
as brand, price or nutritional knowledge, which all
of them is information acquired about the product,
attitudes and beliefs (such as convenience or health
properties) or past experiences from many customer
(Sheperd et al., 1991; Jaeger, 2006; Costell et al.,
Background of rambutan seed
The rambutan, (Nephelium lappaceum Linn),
is a fruit considered exotic to people outside of its
native range. To people of Malaysia, Thailand,
Phillippines, Vietnam, Borneo, and other countries
of this region, the rambutan is a relatively common
fruit the same way as an apple is common to many
people in cooler climates (Zee, 1993; Morton, 1987).
This may change for the rambutan over time as
availability and distribution. Rambutan is adapted
to warm tropical climates, around 22 – 30°C, and
is sensitive to temperatures below 10°C. The tree
grows well on heights up to 500 metres (1,600 ft)
above sea-level and does best in deep soil; clay loam
or sandy loam rich in organic matter Morton (1987).
The aril is attached to the seed in some commercial
cultivars, but “freestone” cultivars are available and
in high demand. There is usually a single light brown
seed, which is high in certain fats and oils (primarily
oleic acid and arachidic acid) valuable to industry,
and used in cooking and the manufacture of soap.
A rambutan root bark, and leaves have various uses
in medicine and in the production of dyes. In some
areas rambutan trees can bear fruit twice annually,
once in late fall and early winter with a shorter season
in late spring and early summer. In other areas like
Costa Rica there is a single fruit season, with the start
of the rainy season in April stimulating owering and
the fruit is usually ripe in August and September. In
Thailand, rambutan trees were rst planted in Surat
Thani in 1926 by the Chinese Malay K. Vong in
Ban Na San. An annual rambutan fair is held during
August harvest time (Morton, 1987).
Rambutan is classication in non-climacteric
fruit and it will not continue to ripen once removed
from the tree. Hence, this fruit must be harvested
when they have reached an optimal eating quality
and visual appearance (O’Hare, 1995). Wanichkul
and Kosiyachinda (1982) have reported that during
time between 16 and 28 days after colour-break, this
fruit can acceptable appearance. Although the pulp
may be acceptable outside of this period, the fruit
is often unmarketable due to the poor colour of the
skin. However, the rambutan is generally harvested
on the basis of its skin colour, avour should also be
at an optimum (Watson et al., 1988). Red cultivars
Issara et al./IFRJ 21(1): 25-31 27
do not necessary reach similar of total soluble solids
(TSS) at the same level of colour. As the fruit ripens
on the tree as a result the TSS value will increases but
the titratable acidity (TA) value is decrease (O’Hare,
1995). On the other hand, fruits harvested too early
will have more acidic and lack sweetness while fruits
harvested too late can be tender. Generally, depending
on cultivar, fruit have a TSS and TA concentration in
the range of 17-21% and 0.7-5.5%, respectively, at
harvestable maturity (Kosiyachinda et al., 1987).
Nutritional analysis of rambutan seed
Some study according to Morton (1987), reported
that have to study the rambutan seed that grow in
some area which the following information pertains
specically to the rambutan grown in Puerto Rico.
Other regions of the world where this fruit is grown
have differences in soils, climate, fertilizer, irrigation
water and rain chemistry, humidity, wind and the
amount and intensity of sunlight which may have
a signicant impact on the nutritional values in the
rambutan seed which resulting to these nutritional
values may not be the same outside of Puerto Rico.
For that matter, even within Puerto Rico, there are
so many microclimates, soil types and pH variations,
these results may be viewed only as an example
of the nutritional prole of just one of the island’s
rambutan fruit growers. And then there is the seasonal
variation from one crop to the next. The test results
included herein were from a particularly sweet crop
and there should be some variability of these values
each season (Morton, 1987). Generally, the vitamin
content and minerals was found on from study
analysis which should help people with concerns
about the nutritional value of the rambutan. The
nutritional value of rambutan seed is shown in Table
1. The nutritional value of rambutan fat grows in
various areas that may slightly difference the amount
of the value to each other.
Antioxidant and antibacterial activities
Plants contain a large variety of substances
possessing antioxidant activity including natural
antioxidant compound such as polyphenols, carotene,
tocopherol, vitamin C, vitamin E, xanthophylls and
tannins (Madhavi et al., 1996; Ramirez-Tortosa et
al., 1999; Thitilertdecha et al., 2008; Febrianto et al.,
2012) and fruit/vegetable that have specic bioactive
compounds had concern much attention due to health
benet effect (Febrianto et al., 2012). Moreover, these
compounds are able to protect the oxidative damage
in human body’s cell and tissue. The phenolics
compound can be found in all parts of the plant for
sources of natural antioxidants (Chanwitheesuk et
al., 2005). According to Thitilertdecha et al. (2008)
noted that rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum Linn.)
peel and seed parts were conducted extracts to obtain
the antioxidant and antibacterial activities, and more
potential activities were found in the peel extracts
more than the seed extracts by used methanol
solvent for extraction of antioxidant and antibacterial
substances which the best solvent for extract when
compare with other solvents. It is as a result to
providing high extraction yields and also strong
antioxidant and antibacterial activities. The natural
antioxidant in lipid-containing product and lipid-
based product such as oil, fat, margarine, butter, etc.
are considered insufcient and/or had been removed
on the purication process because it is considered
as impurities which would adversely affect in
subsequent use (Febrianto et al., 2012). In addition,
Table 1. Summarize the nutritional value of rambutan
seed (Nephelium lappaceum L.)
Ca lc iu m
9.58 mg/100 g
0.34 mg/100 g
12.3 mg/100 g
1.06 mg/100 g
84.1 mg/100 g
20.8 mg/100 g
0.17 mg/100 g
16.6 mg/100 g
Vit am in A
< 40 IU/100 g
Vit am in C
59.4 mg/100 g
Ma lt o se
< 0.1 %
< 0.1 %
TOTAL S UGARS
Rib o fla v in
0.050 mg/100 g
Th ia m in
< 0.010 mg/100 g
Table 2. Main fatty acids in rambutan (Nephelium
lappaceum Linn.) seed fat
Pa lmit ic
Pa lmit oleic
Gon do ic
Non-id e n ti f y
*SFA- saturated fatty acids; MUFA-
monounsaturated fatty acids.
28 Issara et al./IFRJ 21(1): 25-31
study the effect of fermentation time and roasting
process in the rambutan seed fat by Febrianto et al.
(2012), found that they can improve the antioxidant
activity and total phenolics compound of rambutan
seed fat. Higher antioxidant activity which is resulted
from fermentation process could be enhanced further
by applying roasting process also. However, the
appropriate fermentation process should not longer
than 6 days which resulting to efciently increase the
total phenolic compounds of rambutan seed fat.
Rambutan seed fat
Native in Southeast Asia, rambutan (Nephelium
lappaceum Linn.) belongs to the same family
(Sapindaceae) as the sub-tropical fruits lychee and
longan (Marisa, 2006). Rambutan is a seasonal fruit
native of west Malaysia and Sumatra. It is cultivated
widely in Southeast Asian countries. For commercial
crop in Asia, This fruit is important. Normally this
fruit is consumed fresh, canned, or processed, and
appreciated for its refreshing avour and exotic. The
rambutan fruits are deseeded during processing and
these seeds (~ 4-9 g/100 g) are a waste by-product of
the canning industry (Tindall, 1994). Some studies
had reported that rambutan seed possesses a relatively
high amount of fat with values between 14 g/100 g
and 41 g/100 g. (Sirisompong et al., 2011). And other
information on the seed had showed that rambutan
possesses a relatively high amount of fat between 17%
and 39% (Morton, 1987; Zee, 1993). Furthermore, due
to the demand of human consumption was increase
continued for propose in industry. Therefore, the
extracted fat from rambutan seed not only could be
used for manufacturing candles, soaps, and fuels, but
it also has a possible to be a source of natural edible
fat with feasible manufacturing use (Solís-Fuentes et
Chemical composition of rambutan seed
Generally, fat and oil will contain the main
component are triglycerides which each of fat/oil
will show different the fatty acid composition for
each other. Some research was analyzed the fatty
acid in rambutan seed fat which according to Solís-
Fuentes et al. (2010), the main fatty acid composition
in rambutan seed fat was shown in the Table 2.
Two main fatty acids, oleic and arachidic, add up
to almost 75%; present also are palmitic, stearic,
gondoic, palmitoleic, and behenic acids. Around 50%
of the fatty acids in rambutan seed fat are saturated,
including a high percentage of arachidic acid, a
fatty acid with a long chain and a resulting to high
melting point. However, the % weight and proximal
analysis in the rambutan seed also was investigated
and important information which both of them. Table
3 was summarized the percentages in weight of the
anatomical parts of the rambutan fruit (Nephelium
lappaceum Linn.). The almond-like decorticated
seed weights, in average, 6.1% of the whole fruit. In
addition, the proximal analysis of the rambutan seed
was investigated. Augustin and Chua (1988) reported
that the seeds contained 34.1-34.6% of moisture. The
ash, protein, fat (petroleum ether extract) and crude
bre contents of the seeds on a dry weight basis were
found to be 2.6-2.9%, 11.914.1%, 37.1-38.9% and
2.8-6.6% respectively. Rambutan seeds have a low
protein content in comparison to winged bean seeds
which contained 29.3-39.0% protein (Kantha and
Erdman 1984), a comparable protein content to that of
corn kernels which contain 10.1% protein (EI Alally
et al., 1969) and a high protein content compared to
plam kernel and mango seed kernel which contain
8.3% (Tang and Teoh, 1985) and 6.1-6.8% protein,
respectively (Augustin and Ling, 1987). Amino acid
composition in the rambutan seed protein is shown
in Table 4.
Physical properties of rambutan seed
Fats containing highly saturated or long chain
Table 3. Weight and percentage of the constituent
portions of rambutan fruit
Por tion of the fruit
Wei ght (g )
Table 4. Amino acid composition of rambutan seeds as
compared to the FAO Reference Protein
Va lin e
Hist id in e
Non -essentia l
Ala n in e
As pa rt ic a c id
Glu m at ic a c id
Se rin e
Issara et al./IFRJ 21(1): 25-31 29
fatty acids which commonly have a higher melting
point than unsaturated or short chain fatty acids.
Unsaturated fatty acids have different isomeric forms
that have different melting points. They naturally
expose in the cis-form, but can be converted to the
trans-form during partial hydrogenation processing
(Dziezak, 1989). Crystalline forms in which fats
may exist categorized as alpha, beta and beta-prime.
Weiss (1983) classied a number of fats according
to their crystallizing nature shown in Table 5. Due
to have a reported that rambutan seed fat have some
physical properties such as characteristic of melting
in the room temperature like a cocoa butter, but it
was found that cocoa butter have a temperature range
of melting point and crystallization occur narrow
than rambutan seed fat. Beside, cocoa butter does not
contain many triglycerides and majority composed
as plamito oleosterin (Pérez-Martinez et al., 2007).
According to Ghotra et al. (2002), and Mcclements
and Decker (2007) reported that rambutam seed have
crystalline form β and β’ in the amounts of 84.70
and 15.30%, respectively. It was shown that the
rambutan seed fat had a crystal stability. In general
the crystallization of rambutan seed fat is usually
analyzed by using differential scanning calorimetry
(DSC). According to Solís-Fuentes et al. (2010)
described the crystallization curve and melting cure
of rambutan seed fat. The melting point of rambutan
seed fat also observed by the last peak of heating
curve (~ 45oC) showed higher than the cocoa butter
which normally useful in the chocolate manufacture.
Solid fat content of rambutan seed
Solid fat content (SFC) is a signicantly indicator
of hardness. The lowest of SFC in fats almost used in
the chocolate industry resulting in the softer texture of
the products, because of chocolate made with softer
fat containing low crystals less than with a hard fat.
The SFC prole was affected to relative tendency of
chocolate hardness, which it also resulting in the pure
fat system is value consideration. The solids prole
of rambutan seed fat was affected in the amount of
solid fat content by temperature. Rambutan seed fat
is softer than cocoa butter at low temperatures and
has a harder consistency at higher temperatures.
This behavior is probably due to the composition
difference (Solís-Fuentes et al., 2004). So, rambutan
fat would be useful in lled chocolate manufacture
as a softer lling fat compatible with cocoa butter
(Lannes et al., 2003).
The physical properties and sensory and consumer
perception are important factors inuencing in the
confectionary products. Although rambutan seed
fat are similar to those of cocoa butter and can use
to substitute cocoa butter in chocolate, the use of
rambutan seed fat in food and other industry branches
will need to be approved by regulatory authorities in
each country. However, for the effort the alternative
to ne other fat to substitute cocoa butter in chocolate
product is highly consider, which resulting to the nal
product quality. Further studies require integration of
texture and aroma prole in rambutan seed fat and do
the sensory evaluation for study consumer acceptance
in the chocolate product that produce by rambutan
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