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Effect of Agave americana and Agave salmiana Ripeness on Saponin Content from Aguamiel (Agave Sap)

Leal-Diaz, Ana Maria, Santos-Zea, Liliana, Martinez-Escobedo, Hilda Cecilia, Guajardo-Flores, Daniel, Gutierrez-Uribe, Janet Alejandra, Serna-Saldivar, Sergio Othon
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2015 v.63 no.15 pp. 3924-3930
Agave americana, Agave salmiana, high performance liquid chromatography, leaves, rhizomes, ripening, sap, sapogenins, sexual maturity, steroid saponins
Steroidal saponins have shown beneficial health effects. Agave spp. leaves and rhizomes are sources of these compounds, but their presence has not been reported in the aguamiel. Aguamiel is the sweet edible sap from mature agave, and its quality is influenced by the plant ripening stage. The purpose of this research was to identify and quantitate saponins in aguamiel from Agave americana and Agave salmiana at two ripening stages. Saponins and sapogenins were identified with HPLC/ESI-MS/TOF and quantitated with HPLC/ELSD. Results proved the presence of saponins derived from kammogenin, manogenin, gentrogenin, and hecogenin. The saponin content in aguamiel from immature A. salmiana was 2-fold higher (478.3 protodioscin equivalents (PE) μg/g aguamiel (DM)) compared with A. americana (179.0 PE μg/g aguamiel (DM)). In both species, saponin content decreased when plants reached sexual maturity. This should be considered before evaluating the effects of Agave spp. as a source of bioactive saponins.