Is Sapindus Mukurossi technically a surfactant?

Unknown Member

Hi all. 

I’d like help with a questions I’ve been trying to solve for a year now. 

Is Sapindus Mukurossi (Fruit Extract) a surfactant or not?

Among other things, I’ve seen it listed mostly as a surfactant and a conditioning agent. I get that some ingredients/chemicals are multi-applicational but I get stuck on it’s bona fide chemical class category. 

There’s also a passive voice and vague definitions that follow it around. 

  • It’s surfactant like. 
  • It functions as a surfactant. 
  • It has surfactant like qualities (my fav)  

Why is its functional category and chemical class category appear interchangeable or discretionary? 

Is it because it is, in fact, not technically a surfactant? I’m sure I’m missing something obvious here, but I sure welcome a heads up so I can put this to bed! 




  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    The main (active) constituents of soapnut extract are saponins. Saponins belong to the rather arbitrary family of surfactants. Given it's main composition and usage, that plant extract and even the whole aril may be regarded as surfactant although it's technically a 'mixture' which functions as surfactant due to it's surfactant like qualities which it has because it's surfactant like due to it being mostly surfactant :smiley: .
    BTW a surfactant is not a chemical category but only a functional one. However, said category is subdivided into groups and families of chemically related compounds or compounds sharing certain functional groups.
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