The main difference between saponin and sapogenin is that saponin contains a carbohydrate portion that is water-soluble, whereas sapogenin is fat-soluble and it is the non-saccharide part of saponin.
Saponin and sapogenin are two compounds used in medicines, soaps, fire extinguishers, etc. Generally, they occur in soybeans, soapbark trees, and soapwort.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is Saponin
– Definition, Features, Function
2. What is Sapogenin
– Definition, Features, Function
3. Similarities Between Saponin and Sapogenin
– Outline of Common Features
4. Difference Between Saponin and Sapogenin
– Comparison of Key Differences
What is Saponin
Saponin is triterpene glycoside that is a bitter-tasting, toxic, plant-derived organic compound with a foaming quality when agitated with water. Plants like soapwort (genus Saponaria), soapbark (Quillaja saponaria), and soybean (Glycine max L.) produce these compounds. The main importance of saponin is as a medicine, soap, and fire extinguisher. Saponin is especially important for the synthesis of steroids, as dietary supplements, and in carbonated beverages.
Furthermore, structural-wise, saponins are glycosides that contain sugars binding to another organic molecule like steroid or triterpene with a steroid building block. Saponin is fat-soluble and is often used in soap-making. Here, the carbohydrate part of saponin is water soluble while sapogenin is fat soluble. Generally, this property is called amphipathic nature. The amphipathic nature allows their activity as a surfactant, interacting with cell membrane components such as cholesterol and phospholipids. Meanwhile, some examples of saponins include glycyrrhizin (licorice flavoring) and quillaia, a bark extract used in beverages.
What is Sapogenin
Sapogenin is an aglycone; therefore, it is a non-saccharide, a part of the saponin compound. The most significant feature of sapogenin is its fat solubility due to the containment of steroid or triterpene skeleton. Generally, it is the main organic feature of sapogenin.
Some examples of sapogenins include tiggenin, neogitogenin, tokorogenin, diosgenin, and hecogenin. Sapogenin is also important for the semi-synthesis of steroid hormones.
Similarities Between Saponin and Sapogenin
- Saponin and sapogenin are two types of compounds that occur in plants, such as soapwort, soybean, and soapbark tree.
- They are important in medicines, soap, and as fire extinguishers.
Difference Between Saponin and Sapogenin
Saponin refers to any of the class of steroid and terpenoid glycosides that foam when shaken with water, examples of which are used in detergents and foam fire extinguishers, while sapogenin refers to any of a class of organic compounds occurring in many species of plants as derivatives of the steroid and the triterpenoid groups in the form of their glycosides, the saponins.
Saponin is a terpenoid glycoside that foams when shaken with water, while sapogenin is part of a saponin.
Saponin contains a carbohydrate portion, while sapogenin contains a non-saccharide part.
Moreover, saponin is water-soluble, while sapogenin is fat-soluble.
Saponin includes glycyrrhizin and quillaia, while sapogenin includes tiggenin, neogitogenin, tokorogenin, diosgenin, and hecogenin.
In brief, saponin and sapogenin are two types of compounds that occur in plants, such as soapwort, soapbark tree, and soybean. Their main function is to serve as medicines, soap, and fire extinguishers. Generally, saponin is a class of steroid and terpenoid glycosides. In addition, the main function of saponins is to make foam when shaken. However, saponin contains a water-soluble carbohydrate part. Examples of saponin include glycyrrhizin and quillaia. In comparison, sapogenin is a part of saponin, and it is a non-saccharide part. Therefore, it is soluble in fat. Examples of sapogenin include tiggenin, neogitogenin, tokorogenin, diosgenin, and hecogenin. Overall, the main difference between saponin and sapogenin is water solubility.
- Juang YP, Liang PH. Biological and Pharmacological Effects of Synthetic Saponins. Molecules. 2020 Oct 27;25(21):4974. doi: 10.3390/molecules25214974. PMID: 33121124; PMCID: PMC7663351.