REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0152.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Plant Sciences Keywords: Natural surfactants; plants; saponins; eco-friendly; synthetic surfactants
Online: 6 August 2021 (08:15:01 CEST)
Increasing environmental concern and consumer demand for natural, sustainable and eco-friendly products have prompted the replacement of synthetic surfactants with their natural plant-based alternatives. Saponins are the plant based natural surfactants characterized by their foam forming properties in aqueous solution. Their natural origin makes them eco-friendly, bio-degradable and non-toxic. Further, they possess better physicochemical properties than the syn-thetic ones. They are also reported to exhibit a lot of useful biological activities such as anti-cancer, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant and cholesterol-lowering properties. Because of their excellent surface activity, biological activities and wide distribution in nature, saponin rich plants deserve deeper insight as a sustainable source of natural surfactants as they possess the potential to replace toxic synthetic surfactants abundant today. This review article is intended to provide a brief overview on the saponins with a special notion on their surface-active properties. It encourages further studies on development of commercial formulations based on saponins for the complete replacement of the synthetic counter parts, making better use of plants sources thereby contributing to global agenda of green environment.