Saponins and Artifacts

  • Georges Massiot
  • Marie-Geneviève Dijoux
  • Catherine Lavaud
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 405)


Saponins are complex multifunctional molecules made up of an aglycone (steroid or triterpene) and of one or several chains of sugars. They are polar and their isolation and separation require solvents and adsorbents of high polarities, sometimes associated with moderately high temperatures. A necessary step in their structural elucidation is the identification of their components, and this is often done by chemical or enzymic degradations. Under these conditions or during the isolation process, these fragile molecules lend themselves to structural changes and what is thought bona fide to be of natural origin, may be the artifactual product of a chemical rearrangement. Such transformations occur on the aglycone skeleton or on the sugar part, or consist in the loss of a labile substituent.


Structural Elucidation Oleanolic Acid Medicago Sativa Crude Saponin Alcohol Function 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Georges Massiot
    • 1
  • Marie-Geneviève Dijoux
    • 1
  • Catherine Lavaud
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de PharmacognosieURA CNRSReims CedexFrance

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