Husks of popular Thai fruit could hold cosmetics potential

By Katie Bird

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Skin

Hidden in the large, thick husk of the popular durian fruit is a polysaccharide with moisturization benefits, according to recent research.

The large quantities of fruit consumed and processed for export in Thailand leads to significant volumes of husk that are discarded, and scientists have started looking for potential commercial uses of the waste.

According to researchers at the Mae Fah Luang University in Chiang Rai, Thailand, a polysaccharide found in the skin of the fruit could help improve moisture levels in the skin as well as skin firmness.

A polysaccharide gel was created form the durian husks and its effect on human facial skin was compared to the gel base over an 8 week period. Eighteen volunteers were involved in the study and applied the polysaccharide formulation to one side of the face twice daily and the gel base to the other.

After 28 and 56 days the skin on the treated side of the face showed higher values for skin capacitance, a measure of moisture levels, when compared to the skin that had received only the application of the gel base.

Skin firmness was also improved in subjects, but to a lesser extent and was more significant after 56 days, according to the scientists.

“The amount of water supplied to the epidermis exceeded the amount of water lost by evaporation: therefore, the skin became moist and swollen with an increment of elasticity,”​ they explained in the study.

Skin moisture and firming

The scientists conclude that more research is needed on the potential of the durian husk ingredient for cosmetics products, and suggest that studies should concentrate on the moisturization potential of the ingredient and the ability to combine it with other ingredients that act on skin hydration and firmness to explore possible synergistic relationships.

In addition, as the durian polysaccharide has the ability to trap lipids the researchers suggest that the active should be investigated for use in anti-cellulite cosmetics.

Due to the large quantity of husk waste, the potential for developing commercially viable ingredients is significant and cosmetic is not the only sector being investigated. Both pharmaceutical and food applications of ingredients from the agricultural waste have been investigated, according to the scientists.

Source: International Journal of Cosmetic Science
​2010 Volume 32, Pages 211 – 215
Biophysic evaluation of polysaccharide gel from durian’s fruit hulls for skin moisturiser

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