In this case study, a plant biotechnology company engaged CPL Business Consultants to assist in deciding what priority, if any, should be given to the continued research and development of its nutraceutical saponins from alfalfa.

This was assessed by examining the actual and potential market for similar cholesterol-lowering health ingredients, and more specifically for saponins from other sources. Particular attention was given to the barriers to entry, success factors and regulatory issues.

The focus was primarily on the US and the EU. Similarly, the focus of the project was on saponins from alfalfa, although information on the potential for other components, such as flavonoids, phytosterols, and an enzyme fraction (SOD) was also provided.

Click here for a PDF of the contents of the study or look below for an outline.

Saponins from Alfalfa

Executive Summary

  • Objective
  • Background
  • Method
  • Principal Findings
    • Markets
    • Barriers to Entry
      • Alfafa Saponins
      • Alfalfa Phytoestrogens
      • Alfalfa Rubesco Peptides
      • Functional foods may fail
    • Key Success Factors
    • Regulatory Issues
    • Applications, Technical Functions & Health Benefits
      • Alfalfa Saponins
      • Alfalfa Phytoestrogens
  • Conclusions
  • Recommendations


  • Phytosterols
    • The Effect of Dietary Phytosterols On Cholesterol
    • Phytosterols on the Market
    • Suggested Daily Intake
    • Notes on Cholesterol in Humans
  • Phytoestrogens
    • Isoflavonoids
    • Dietary and mammalian lignans
    • Metabolism and pharmacokinetics of phytoestrogens
    • Phytoestrogens and diseases
    • Isoflavones in foods
    • Lignans in foods
    • Glycitein and coumestrol in foods
  • Alfalfa
    • Uses
    • Folk Medicine
    • Chemistry
    • Toxicity
    • Description
    • Germplasm
    • Distribution
    • Ecology
    • Cultivation
    • Harvesting
    • Yields and Economics
    • Energy
    • Biotic Factors
    • Chemical Analysis of Biomass Fuels


  • Overview of the Functional Foods Market
    • Case study 1
    • Case Study 2
  • Market Sales and Share by Country
    • Australia
    • Canada
    • Europe
    • Japan
    • United States
  • Future Market Opportunities in Cholesterol Lowering

Players and Products

  • Alfalfa Derived Nutraceuticals
  • Cactus Extracts and Quillaja Extracts
  • Chitosan
  • Plant Sterols and Stanols
  • Soy Products
  • Beta-Glucan

Legislation and Regulatory Issues

Recent Patents

  • Patents for Saponins
  • Patents for Alfalfa and Saponins
  • Patents for Plant Stanols and Sterols

Contact Reports

  • Distributors
  • Manufacturers
  • Others


Research Articles

In addition to this project on saponins from alfalfa, CPL has also worked on commercialisation partnerships for cholesterol-lowering ingredients, dietary supplements and several studies on plant sterols. You can find many other examples by browsing this site or using the search bar on this page. Have a look at our PowerPoint Introduction and Brochure describing deliverables, differentiators and case studies. You can also review Eight case studies.

Share this project: