iTi is constantly striving to introduce new products into the market. Our most recent efforts have resulted in Rambutan!
The rambutan fruit (Nephelium lappaceum L.) is probably the most exotic fruit you’ll ever see! It is round (or oval) and slightly bigger than a golf ball. The fruit has a thin, leathery rind covered with multiple spines with a curve at the tip and somewhat resembles a tiny sea urchin. Inside, the juicy flesh is usually white or rose-tinted and adheres to an ovoid seed.
Rambutan is a close relative of lychee but not nearly as well known. It is native to Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and other areas of Southeast Asia, although its precise natural distribution is unknown. The rambutan tree thrives in tropical, humid regions with well-distributed rainfall and requires deep, clay-loam, rich sandy loam, or deep peat. The peak season for rambutan in Thailand is May to September. After harvesting, the fruits are handled carefully to avoid bruising and kept in a dry, cool, well-ventilated area to delay spoilage.
The fruit is rich in vitamin C and contains potassium, iron, vitamin A. To a lesser extent, the fruit also contains calcium, magnesium sodium, zinc, niacin, protein and fiber. In South East Asia rambutan is often served as dessert with ice cream or in a mixed fruit salad. Luxury hotels in South East Asia serve rambutan with Parma ham or smoked meats and chilled melon for breakfast. The fruit is used in seafood salads, with poultry or combined with red curry paste and coconut cream to make vegetarian curry. Other typical uses include hors-d’oeuvres, rambutan chutney or as a salsa combined with other tropical fruits and vegetables.
Rambutan possesses a pleasant, sweet taste. It may be readily incorporated into smoothies, 100% juice applications, ice-cream, sorbets, jams and jellies, yogurts etc. Rambutan may also be substituted wherever lychee is used.
Product developers looking for new ideas and looking to enhance their existing fruit and beverage line may be interested in this versatile new ingredient. Rambutan Puree from Thailand is processed from good quality rambutan fruit pulp, which is sorted, washed, and peeled. The puree is processed under good manufacturing practices and is free of any additives or preservatives. The Thai manufacturing facility is Kosher certified and the product is manufactured under a certified quality control system (ISO 9001:2000) and HACCP regulations. Frozen rambutan puree is packed in 40 lb pails.
For more R&D ideas and technical information for using rambutan contact the R&D team at iTi Tropicals.