UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Plant Extracts Containing Saponins Affects the Stability and Biological Activity of Hempseed Oil Emulsion System Jarzębski, Maciej; Siejak, Przemysław; Smułek, Wojciech; Fathordoobady, Farahnaz; Guo, Yigong; Pawlicz, Jarosław; Trzeciak, Tomasz; Kowalczewski, Przemysław Łukasz; Kitts, David D.; Singh, Anika; Pratap Singh, Anubhav


In this study, two saponins-rich plant extracts, viz. Saponaria officinalis and Quillaja saponaria, were used as surfactants in an oil-in-water (O/W) emulsion based on hempseed oil (HSO). This study focused on a low oil phase content of 2% v/v HSO to investigate stable emulsion systems under minimum oil phase conditions. Emulsion stability was characterized by the emulsification index (EI), centrifugation tests, droplet size distribution as well as microscopic imaging. The smallest droplets recorded by dynamic light scattering (droplets size v. number), one day after the preparation of the emulsion, were around 50–120 nm depending the on use of Saponaria and Quillaja as a surfactant and corresponding to critical micelle concentration (CMC) in the range 0–2 g/L. The surface and interfacial tension of the emulsion components were studied as well. The effect of emulsions on environmental bacteria strains was also investigated. It was observed that emulsions with Saponaria officinalis extract exhibited slight toxic activity (the cell metabolic activity reduced to 80%), in contrast to Quillaja emulsion, which induced Pseudomonas fluorescens ATCC 17400 growth. The highest-stability samples were those with doubled CMC concentration. The presented results demonstrate a possible use of oil emulsions based on plant extract rich in saponins for the food industry, biomedical and cosmetics applications, and nanoemulsion preparations.

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