Rambutan Seeds, containing oleic acid and arachidic acid

Our habit! Crack rambutan open. Suck in the mouth watering flesh, then threw away the seeds and peels.

Imagine it on industry level, canning. They are simply discarded as waste and treated as of no economic value. What a huge waste of resource! Of course, dumped organic materials eventually decay and become fertilizer. However, we want something more than that. Something we can sell for more profit.

Jirawat Eiamwat et. al. (2014) conducted a study on possible toxicity of rambutan seeds. Why?

Taken from their manuscript:

It is a potential source of edible fat, 4-9% of the whole fruit and 14 to 41% of the seed.

Rambutan seed fat is semi-solid at room temperature (25-27°C) and characterized by high levels of oleic acid between 36.8 and 42.0% and arachidic acid between 34.3 and 36.4% (Harahap et al., 2011; Sirisompong et al., 2011; Solís-Fuentes et al., 2010; Yanty et al., 2013). Due to the physical and chemical characteristics, rambutan seed fat may provide an economic advantage with possible utilization in food and cosmetics.

Take that..

Arachidic acid is for production of detergents, photographic materials and lubricants. Oleic acid is a healthy oil known to lower cholesterol levels. It maybe used as salad dressings, on baking and as replacement of animal fat.

The fear of toxicity fear us from using any unproven commodity, especially if it is not a common food for the man. Rambutan is delicious, perfectly edible and safe but we are unsure about the seeds. The usual practice is outright throw. Another example is the guyabano fruit. The flesh is perfectly safe but the seeds in known to have toxic substances. Thanks to its hard shell. I never affects us on accidental ingestion.

Is rambutan seed toxic?

According to their study results, fat and oils are not lethal to rats at levels of 5,000 mg/kg body weight.

Food technologists and Chemists! Grab the opportunity before somebody else do.

Toxicity studies on rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum) seed fat and oil extracts using acute oral, dermal and irritation assays

Jirawat Eiamwat, Sareeya Reungpatthanaphong, Saranya Laovitthayanggoon, Tuanta Sematong, Paramee Pengprecha, Benjaporn Tiensong, Patthanant Natpinit

Where Are The Seeds of Pineapple?

Do pineapples have seed? Yes, but only few people are noticing them. Pineapple in cans always come seedless. Whole commercial pineapple rarely have seeds and if they do have, they are just too small and partially hidden to be seen. The fruit is almost always seedless.

I have never seen one for myself.

Pineapple has numerous eyes. Each eye represents a single fruit which may contain seed in a hollow structure. The hollow structures after scraping off the peel are further removed as they are not pleasing to taste buds.

peeling orange ripe pineapplePineapple is a multiple fruit, in which numerous flowers, each with an ovary, develop into small fruits that are fused together into a larger one.

orange ripe pineappleAre pineapple seeds unnecessary?

It is needed for breeding purposes but not for commercial production. Why grow pineapple from seeds when it can be propagated easily using suckers and crowns. In addition, the plant from seeds won’t be the same as mother plant (a rule of genetics).

Seeds may take three months to germinate and another 15 months to grow three inches tall. Imagine how long it will take to see its fruit.

Literature tells, pineapple flowers are pollinated by humming birds (which is not a local species). Introduction of humming birds in Hawaii is prohibited as it will facilitate in pineapple pollination. Seeds in pineapple are undesirable.

Shelling Adlai Seeds With Long Nose Pliers

Another crazy stuff. I got another set of adlai seeds. The light colored adlai seeds with relatively soft seed coat. Nineteen adlai seeds that were left behind after milling a set of one kilogram.

19 adlai seeds

The crazy stuff.

It can be peeled with bare hands with ease but would be easier with a hand tool, the long nose pliers. I got the pliers and began piercing them one by one until I got all the brown grains. It took me about seven minutes. About six thousand hours if I took one million seeds instead.  This task obviously needs a decent milling machinery.

adlai grains and seeds

Out of 19 seeds, 12 grains were gathered while the other seven seeds were empty. If this number will always be true, then expect a 63% recovery by numbers, not by weight.

Sorry! I tried finding analytical balance with no success.

Are You Swallowing Santol Seeds?

Santol season is ongoing. I often see several santol fruits, bangkok variety, on table. It come and go but I have never tasted even one this season. All of them are being enjoyed by our two year old boy.

santol fruit bangkokI love eating santol fruit. As sign of man’s strength, the fruit is broken to halves by mere squeezing in between two palms. Weaker fellows need to make a narrow scar on middle, then break using two palms and two knees. I humbly belong to weaker fellows.

Seeds are suck one by one to get the sweet juice and pulp wrapped around it. Spit out after few seconds. Hard thick peels are also thrown away. However, some fruits are irresistibly sweet. Full enjoyment can be felt only after swallowing the seeds. I also feel irritated having to throw it away. Some are swallowing the seeds for enjoyment and others are doing it just to show off. Still swallowing even if the elders told us not to do so.

That was before. I never did it again ever since I experienced the bad consequences.

Santol seeds should not be swallowed. The large santol variety has relatively large seeds that may clogged throat, resulting to breathing difficulty and worse. The native varieties have smaller seeds. Throat clogging is less likely. However, seeds, whether big or small may block the human anus resulting to difficulty in bowel movement. I experienced both.

We keep an eye on him while eating santol. We make sure that he only bite the pulp little by little and not put the whole seed in his mouth.

Boiling Slices of Avocado Seeds Several Times

I decided that avocado seeds were not edible based on the result of simple boiling experiment. The seeds are as bitter as raw avocado pulp. The pulp bitterness diminishes as the peel chlorophyll degrades and the pulp itself gets softer. The seeds failed to follow the scheme however.

Someone suggested that boiling it several times might do the trick. The bitter substances will be dissolved in water. The bitterness might go out completely after several water changes.

There will be no harm if I do a second trial. After making avocado ice candy, I saved some seeds for the experiment. I scraped off the testa and sliced it thinly. Diffusion of substances from seeds to water is efficient if the slices are thin.  Boiled it in three generous amount of water batches, five minutes each. Fourth boiling was not done cause the commodity was too soft after third boiling.

avocado seeds slicesTime for evaluation. I got a slice and took a small bite. It was not bitter. I took a second and third bite. Then the bitterness slowly came to my senses. It was still as bitter as the raw seeds. It was perceptible after gurgling water and even after eating lunch. About one hour bitterness.

Are Mahogany Seeds Toxic?

My late grandfather used to chew mahogany seeds regularly. He said it has some health benefits. He failed to discuss the details though.

His seeds reserved were running out so he asked me if I can find some for him. I knew several mahogany trees but they are too high for me to climb. I admit, I am not a good climber. I tried to find fallen fruit but failed.

a whole mahogany fruit

Brother told me that finding a whole fruit on ground was almost impossible. The mature mahogany fruit breaks apart while still attached to tree branches. The light seeds scatter with the help of blowing wind.

After few weeks, grandpa threw away all the mahogany seeds. He heard from news and peers that it is toxic to human.

I did some digging!

Swietenia mahogani Jacquin (Mahogany) is known for treatment of diseases like hypertension, cancer, amebiasis, chest pains and intestinal parasitism. It was reported to be abortifacient  but not supported by any scientific studies. I cannot find any supportive evidence either.

K Bacsal and company, found that mahogany seeds has potential effect on healing gastric ulcers due to phospolipid and long chain unsaturated fatty acid content.

The website mimf.com listed mahogany in their toxic wood list. Mahogany, American: sensitizer/respiratory, eye & skin/small/dust/rare. Mahogany, African: sensitizer/respiratory/great/dust/rare.

According to wilderness-survival.net, all parts of the tree should be considered dangerous if eaten. Its leaves are a natural insecticide and will repel insects from stored fruits and grains. Take care not to eat leaves mixed with the stored food.