By 27 de November de 2019Sin categoría

Quillaja Saponaria: emulsifier and foaming properties from a Chilean tree

Do you know that you can get very stable foams naturally?

Do you know this natural way of formulating a cleansing agent?

Quillay (Quillaja saponaria) is a naturally distributed tree species in the central Chilean rainforest. It is a perrennifolio tree, 15 to 20 meters tall and has a greyish bark. The fruit has a characteristic star-shaped capsule.

quillaja saponaria


Of great functional importance, Quillay Wood Extract contains mainly saponins, in addition to polyphenols, tannins, salts and sugars in small quantities.

Its chemical configuration gives it important surface-active properties, such as foaming properties and emulsifiers ideal in food and cosmetic applications. Its functions include cleaning, which is applied in a variety of cosmetic products for skin care in babies and pregnant women. On the other hand, the dispersing capacity of the extract makes it ideal for applications of mineral pigments, agricultural inputs, sun protectors, makeup, etc.

Natural Properties

In Q’omer® we have the extract of Quillaja saponaria and we know in detail its applications and properties by the link that we maintain with the native Latin American production so we know the multiple uses in the natural culture indigenous people who have had the Quillaja saponaria.

Traditionally used by indigenous Mapuche communities in Chile as a cleansing agent, especially in hair applications such as shampoo or conditioner.

The main component of Quillaja saponaria extract is saponins, a heterogeneous group of sterol glycosides and triterpenoid glycosides that are present in a wide range of plant species where they are distributed along the bark, leaves, stems, roots and even flowers. Although their basic function in plants is not entirely known, they are known to inhibit mold and protect plants from insect attack. In addition, some saponins are anti-microbial and can be a source of monosaccharides.

Saponins are widely used commercially today for their detergent and surfactant properties, their ability to form stable emulsions as well as their usefulness for forming foams.


The applications from which we can benefit through the extracts of Quillaja saponaria are classified basically in food applications and in their use in the field of cosmetics.

Applications in the food sector:

We can highlight its use to get a foam consisting of beers and other drinks. It is also very effective as an emulsifier to achieve a homogeneous distribution of fats in formulations having an aqueous base.

quillaja saponaria

The saponins of Quillaja saponaria have also been used in the stabilization of microparticles of active components such as oils with a high content of Omega 3 fatty acids or of vitamin E particles.

Applications in the field of cosmetics:

This type of extracts is also being used in different cosmetic applications very diverse as different types of shampoos, creams, conditioners or toothpaste, with which a perfect dispersion and homogenization of the components of the product is achieved.

You are interested to know what…

The use of Quillaja saponaria as a healing agent by shamans in Latin America has been documented. Applications are known to cure skin lesions, insect bites, skin rashes, etc. And it has also been used in Africa to prevent the transmission of certain diseases.

We know firsthand this tree that grows in the Chilean jungle and are interested in improving and optimizing its applications.

In a market where the value of nature, care, health and well-being is increasingly valued, Q’omerś continues to work and research on new products that can be purely natural to be offered to consumers as well as to companies that produce food and cosmetics products.