Economic Botany

, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 169–173 | Cite as

A reinvestigation ofBalanites aegyptiaca as a source of steroidal sapogenins

  • Roland Hardman
  • Ezekiel Abayomi Sofowora


The sapogenin content of the seed and the epicarp/mesocarp ofBalanites aegyptiaca from Egypt, India, Tanzania and Nigeria has been estimated by i.r. spectrophotometric analysis. Experiments applicable on an industrial scale are described showing how the soft fruit wall, as well as the seed, could be used as commercial sources of steroidal sapogenin to assist in meeting the estimated world demand of 1,000,000 Kg of diosgenin by 1973. A procedure whereby the nuts are sawn into two halves to release the seeds is presented as one solution to the problem of decorticating the nuts.


Nigeria Saponin Economic Botany Diosgenin Steroidal Sapogenin 
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Copyright information

© The New York Botanical Garden 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roland Hardman
    • 1
  • Ezekiel Abayomi Sofowora
    • 2
  1. 1.University of BathEngland
  2. 2.University of IfeNigeria

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