Quillaia bark or soapbark is derived from the tree Quillaja saponaria (Rosaceae) and other Quillaja species found in Chile, Peru, and Bolivia. The bark contains up to 10% saponins, a mixture known as 'commercial saponin', which is used for its detergent properties. Quillaia's surfactant properties are occasionally exploited in pharmaceutical preparations where it is used in the form of quillaia tincture as an emulsifying agent, particularly for fats, tars, and volatile oils. The bark contains a mixture of saponins which on hydrolysis liberates quillaic acid (Figure 5.62) as the aglycone, together with sugars, uronic acids, and acids from ester functions.
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