• Pronunciation: (\kwi-ˈlā-yə\ \ˈsōp-ˌbärk\
  • Type: Natural
  • Other names: soapbark extract

What Is Quillaja Saponaria (soapbark) extract?

Quillaja saponaria extract (also spelled “quillaia”) is a dark brown liquid made from the logs and bark of the soapbark tree. It has a sweet, pungent odor.[1] The word quillay is derived from the native Mapuche word quillean, which means “to wash.”[2] The soapbark tree is a large evergreen with shiny, leathery leaves and a thick bark. It is native to Chile. The wood for the extract is often obtained through regular pruning activities that improve forests without killing the trees.[3]

What Does Quillaja Saponaria (soapbark) extract Do in Our products?

Quillaja saponaria contains saponins, which are molecules with a distinctive foaming characteristic.[4] They foam considerably when shaken in water.[5] The extract is used as a food additive and flavoring agent in soft drinks (typically root beer and cream soda). It is also used as an emulsifier in baked goods, candies, frozen dairy products, gelatins, mayonnaise, puddings, and low-cholesterol dairy products.[6] Quillaija saponaria extract is also found in shampoo, lotion, conditioner, baby sap, facial cleanser and other products.[7] In our products, it is used as a moisturizer that keeps the skin soft and supple.

Why Puracy Uses Quillaja Saponaria (soapbark) extract

We use quillaja saponaria extract in several of our products as a moisturizer. The EPA has deemed the ingredient nonsensitizing to skin, and the FDA has deemed quillaia saponaria a natural flavoring that is safe for use in food.[10,11] Whole Foods has deemed the ingredient acceptable in its body care product quality standards.[12] The EPA has also stated that quillaja saponaria poses no significant dietary risk, residential risk, or risk ground and surface water contamination from its use as an active ingredient. It also deemed dietary and non-dietary exposure as safe for the U.S. population in general, including infants and children.[13]

How Quillaja Saponaria (soapbark) extract Is Made

Quillaja saponaria extract is produced by aqueous extraction of the milled inner bark or wood of stems and branches of the soapbark tree. After harvesting the logs and bark, the external part of the bark is removed. The inner bark is then treated with hot water to obtain the extract.[8] One type of quillaja saponaria extract is treated with stabilizing agents and then filtered. The liquid is then concentrated via evaporation and sold; it can also be spray-dried and sold as a powder. A second type of quillaja saponaria extract is put through extra filtration, typically via activated charcoal, to remove unwanted solids.[9]



[1] Environmental Protection Agency
[2] Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
[3] Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
[4] Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
[5] Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
[6] Environmental Protection Agency
[7] Environmental Working Group
[8] Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
[9] Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
[10] Environmental Protection Agency
[11] Food and Drug Administration
[12] Whole Foods Market
[13] Environmental Protection Agency

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We Use Quillaja saponaria (Soapbark) bark extract in Our: