Saponins in food

Radomir Lásztity, Máté Hidvégi, Árpád Bata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

69 Citations (Scopus)


As a result of increased interest and intensive research activity in microcomponents of foods of plant origin, our knowledge concerning the saponins of foods increased substantially in the last few years. Triterpenoid and steroid saponins occur primarily in legumes seeds, nevertheless a lot of other foods and raw food materials contain small amounts of saponins. Due to the low absorption and complexes formed with cholesterol, saponins do not cause toxicological problems, however the bitter taste and some technological characteristics may be a disadvantage. Saponin complexes were also mentioned as causing possible damage to intestinal mucosa and formation of less digestible protein. It was also reported that a cholesterol lowering effect and antiviral activity against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in vitro have been attributed to saponins. Analytical methods used for determination and identification of saponins today are dominated by different chromatographic and specific instrumental methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-390
Number of pages20
JournalFood Reviews International
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Chemical Engineering(all)

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