Original Article

Journal of Surfactants and Detergents

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 553-561

First online:

Recovery of Saponins from Jua (Ziziphus joazeiro) by Micellar Extraction and Cloud Point Preconcentration

  • Bernardo Dias RibeiroAffiliated withSchool of Chemistry, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro Email author 
  • , Daniel Weingart BarretoAffiliated withSchool of Chemistry, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
  • , Maria Alice Zarur CoelhoAffiliated withSchool of Chemistry, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro

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Juá (Ziziphus joazeiro) is a Brazilian plant and its bark has been used as a detergent and phytotherapic due to its high saponin content (2–10 %). Saponins are triterpenic glycosides with some properties that aid their use in food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. The object of the present work was to develop an extraction and concentration process of saponins from jua bark, using green solvents such as water and ethanol. Firstly, the extraction conditions optimization was carried out using a central composite design, and compared with other methods such as Soxhlet, ultrasound-assisted extraction and micellar extraction. Then, cloud point preconcentration was tested to select the salt type and its concentration which promotes a higher concentration factor and partition coefficient at room temperature. Finally, the removal of a t-octyl phenol ethoxylate (9–10 EO) nonionic surfactant by adsorption was evaluated by optimizing the adsorbent type and its concentration, temperature and time of adsorption, in addition to the adsorbent recycling. Orbital shaker extraction leads to a recovery of 45.6 % saponins under the following conditions: temperature, 38.8 °C; jua/solvent ratio, 0.272; stirring speed, 300 rpm; extraction time, 2 h. Under these conditions, saponins recovery reached 90.8 % when using 15 % v/v of the nonionic surfactant, and a preconcentration factor of 14.2 was obtained by adding sodium carbonate 20 % w/v. The preconcentration factor decreased to a value of 10.1, after nonionic surfactant removal by a hydrophobic crosslinked polystyrene copolymer resin.


Jua Saponins Micellar extraction Cloud point Alkylphenol ethoxylate