Objective: To reach the recovery and identification of antioxidant polyphenolic compounds from Nephelium lappaceum L. (Mexican variety) husk using ultrasound-assisted extraction and liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry as well as the in vitro antioxidant activity.
Methods: Rambutan husk extracts were obtained by ultrasound-assisted extraction, mass/volume ratio, water/ethanol percentage and extraction time were evaluated. Once the best extraction condition of polyphenolic compounds was defined, a polyphenolic fraction was recovered using Ambetlite XAD-16. The total content of antioxidant polyphenolic compounds was determined by summation of the total hydrolysable polyphenol and total condensed polyphenol contents. Recovered compounds were identified by FTIR (ATR) spectroscopy and HPLC/ESI/MS. The antioxidant activity was carried out by ABTS, DPPH and lipid oxidation inhibition in vitro methods. Results: In Mexican variety rambutan husk, the total polyphenolic content was 487.67 mg/g, after ultrasound-assisted extraction. According to the HPLC/ESI/MS analysis 12 antioxidant polyphenolic compounds were identified, mostly ellagitannins such as geraniin, corilagin and ellagic acid. The antioxidant activity determined by ABTS, DPPH and lipid oxidation inhibition methods was demonstrated. The main functional groups of the identified compounds were determined by FTIR analysis. Conclusions: It was demonstrated that ultrasound-assisted extraction was effective and allowed the extraction and recovery of antioxidant polyphenolic compounds. Furthermore Mexican variety rambutan husk is an important source for recovering polyphenolic compounds with antioxidant activity, these compounds have potential application for the treatment/prevention of various diseases related to cancer and pathogenic microorganisms.