Industrial saponins


Saponins are soap-like substances or surfactants produced by certain plants. They have huge potential as a natural, biobased alternative to petrochemical surfactants for use in detergent products. However, extraction from plants is not economically feasible for use in detergents or sustainable on the basis of land use. This project sets out to establish a sustainable, commercially viable supply chain for the production of saponins in yeast. It tackles complex challenges of developing a yeast strain to produce the saponin at sufficient yield and how to recover the saponin from the fermentation medium. The project will also explore the physical properties of saponins alone and in mixtures with conventional surfactants, and will establish how best to formulate saponins into commercial detergent products for both economy and end results. Finally, the project will explore the safety of saponins using risk assessment methodology and in vitro methods.


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