(1) A general term applied to two groups of plant glycosides that on shaking with water form colloidal solutions giving soapy lathers; they form oil/ester emulsions and are used as protective colloids. They also have the ability to hemolyze red blood corpuscles at very great dilutions. The two groups are triterpenoid and steroid saponins; the latter are used in research on sex hormones. (2) Specific term refers to saponin derived from Saponaria or Quillaja.
|White, amorphous glucoside; pungent, disagreeable taste and odor. It foams strongly when shaken with water. Soluble in water.|
|Crude, purified, highest purity.|
|Highly toxic by injection; destroys red blood cells. Moderately toxic by ingestion.|
|Foam producer in fire extinguishers, detergent in textile industries, sizing, substitute for soap, emulsification agent for fats and oils.|