Effect of steroidal saponins from Agave on the polysaccharide cell wall composition of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Kluyveromyces marxianus

Montserrat Alcázar, Tobias Kind, Anne Gschaedler, Mark Silveria, Javier Arrizon, Oliver Fiehn, Adriana Vallejo, Inocencio Higuera, Eugenia Lugo

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8 Scopus citations


In the fermentation process of distilled spirits from Agave sugars, saponins inhibit the growth of yeasts during this procedure. This type of compound is present in the must, and the mechanisms of the cell growth inhibition are poorly understood. The fundamental objective of this work was to study the effect of saponins on the cell walls of the fermentative yeasts Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Kluyveromyces marxianus. This study was performed in batch and continuous cultures, adding pulses of saponins extracted from the leaves of Agave durangensis and Agave salmiana ssp. crassispina. The saponin extract from A. durangensis exhibited a stronger growth inhibitory effect in both yeast strains than A. salmiana saponin extract due to the structure of the saponins. However, in K. marxianus growth recovery was observed, because these strain showed saponinase activity that performed the saponin hydrolysis. Finally, microscopic observations confirmed the changes in the wall cell of S. cerevisiae and K. marxianus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e1
JournalLWT - Food Science and Technology
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017



  • Agave saponins
  • Continuous culture
  • Yeast cell wall

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science

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