Extracting bioactives from fruit byproducts – Upcycling rambutan byproducts benefits Vietnamese farmers


Florence Trombini, Charlotte d’Erceville-Dumond, Cécile Kalem
BASF Beauty Care Solutions, France


Increased environmental consciousness has prompted the cosmetics industry to develop new sustainable solutions that don’t compromise on performance. With three new bioactives from the rambutan tree, BASF is helping manufacturers provide consumers with responsible skin and hair care products that also benefit Vietnamese farmers and the local rural communities.

At this year’s in-cosmetics trade fair in Paris, BASF launched three active ingredients based on the Southeast-Asian rambutan tree. The bioactives, which are extracted from the spiny fruit peel, the evergreen leaves and the seeds, lend skin and hair care products protection against pollution, dehydration and signs of aging. And their impact goes far beyond the personal care industry: With its dedicated Rambutan Program, started in 2015, BASF has set up a socially and environmentally responsible supply chain for bioactive production in Vietnam.



The rambutan tree, which is native to Indonesia and Malaysia, has been grown commercially in Vietnam, where it is known as chôm chôm – or “messy hair” – due to the spiny appearance of its fruit.

It is renowned throughout Asia for its various health benefits. The juicy fruits are rich in iron, vitamin C, fibre and antioxidants, and have long been used to treat dysentery. Other parts of the fruit are also known to be beneficial: The rinds contain compounds with antioxidant properties, and the seeds decrease unwanted fat. Meanwhile, th ...