Microbiological Assay for Saponin in Alfalfa Products

Microbiological assay for saponin in alfalfa products.
Livingston AL, Whitehand LC, Kohler GO.
J Assoc Off Anal Chem 1977 Jul;60(4):957-60

A bioassay is described for determining medicagenin-type saponin in dried alfalfa, leaf protein concentrates, and alfalfa sprouts. Samples are extracted by refluxing 2 1/2 hr with 50% ethanol, ethanol is evaporated, and aliquots of an aqueous solution are added to potato dextrose agar (PDA) and assayed for saponin by using the fungus Trichoderma viride. The growth of the fungus on PDA is compared with a standard saponin, and saponin levels are calculated by means of a slope ratio analysis.