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Saponins in pulses and their health promoting activities: A review

Singh, Balwinder, Singh, Jatinder Pal, Singh, Narpinder, Kaur, Amritpal
Food chemistry 2017 v.233 pp. 540-549
bioavailability, cholesteremic effect, chronic diseases, clinical trials, cooking, cytotoxicity, foods, health promotion, humans, neoplasms, oligosaccharides, saponins, soaking, sprouting, surface active properties
Saponins are a class of natural compounds present in pulses having surface active properties. These compounds show variation in type, structure and composition of their aglycone moiety and oligosaccharide chains. Saponins have plasma cholesterol lowering effect in humans and are important in reducing the risk of many chronic diseases. Moreover, they have shown strong cytotoxic effects against cancer cell lines. However, more epidemiological and clinical studies are required for the proper validation of these health promoting activities. Processing and cooking promotes the loss of saponins from foods. The effect of soaking, sprouting and cooking on the stability and bioavailability of saponins in pulses is an important area which should be thoroughly worked out for achieving desirable health benefits. In the present review, the structures, contents and health benefits of saponins present in pulses are discussed. Moreover, the effect of processing (of pulses) on the saponins is also highlighted.