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Please note that the content of this book primarily consists of articles available from Wikipedia or other free sources online. Osladine is a naturally-occurring, high intensity sweetener isolated from the rhizome of Polypodium vulgare. It is a saponin, sapogenin steroid glycoside, 500 times sweeter than sucrose. A related compond, polypodoside A, has been identified from the rhizome of Polypodium glycyrrhiza and is 600 times sweeter than a sucrose solution at 6%. Saponins are a class of chemical compounds, one of many secondary metabolites found in natural sources, with saponins found in particular abundance in various plant species. Specifically, they are amphipathic glycosides grouped phenomenologically by the soap-like foaming they produce when shaken in aqueous solutions, and structurally by their composition of one or more hydrophilic glycoside moieties combined with a lipophilic triterpene derivative. A ready and therapeutically relevant example is the cardio-active agent digoxin, from common foxglove.
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