Phytochemistry Reviews

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 473–490 | Cite as

Biological activities and chemistry of saponins from Chenopodium quinoa Willd.



Chenopodium quinoa Willd. is a valuable food source which has gained importance in many countries of the world. The plant contains various bitter-tasting saponins which present an important antinutritional factor. Various triterpene saponins have been reported in C. quinoa including both monodesmosidic and bidesmosidic triterpene saponins of oleanolic acid, hederagenin, phytolaccagenic acid, and serjanic acid as the major aglycones and other aglycones as 3β-hydroxy-23-oxo-olean-12-en-28-oic acid, 3β-hydroxy-27-oxo-olean-12-en-28-oic acid, and 3β, 23α, 30β-trihydroxy-olean-12-en-28-oic acid. A tridesmosidic saponin of hederagenin has also been reported. Here we review the occurrence, analysis, chemical structures, and biological activity of triterpene saponins of C. quinoa. In particular, the mode of action of the mono- and bidesmosidic triterpene saponins and aglycones are discussed.


Quinoa Oleanane triterpene Phytolaccagenane triterpene Triterpene saponins Biological activity 

















South America


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chemistry Program, Faculty of Science and TechnologySuan Dusit Rajabhat UniversityBangkokThailand
  2. 2.Department of Biology, Institute of Pharmacy and Molecular BiotechnologyUniversity of HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany

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