Agricultural and pharmaceutical services:

Sourcing of authentic samples

Numerous examples in the literature proof that in bioactive plants the genetic variation among individual plants of a given species (= intra-specific variation) is vast. Differences in content of active compounds between individual plants may amount to a factor of 10 or more.

Genetic variability for active compound concentration

Although often regarded as disadvantageous, intra-specific variation, from the breeder’s point of view, is very useful, since it opens the door for genetic improvement.

To exploit the treasure of variability, it is an important prerequisite though to source and analyze an adequate number of individual plants from various origins in the initial sourcing and subsequent screen.

We at breeding botanicals international (bbi) are dedicated to the consequent, diligent utilization of intra-specific variation. Consequently, we strongly recommend that at the beginning of any product development a substantial number of authentic plant samples of the corresponding plant species will be analyzed to assess the degree of the intra-specific variation and select the more desirable.

Due to our know-how, experience and global network, bbi can assist you efficiently in the procurement of plant samples from defined sources, assuring that additional samples or larger quantities of similar material may be obtained from the same sources, if needed at a later time. We will also support you in interpreting the outcome and defining the resulting next steps in plant raw material procurement.

Breeding and variety registration

Obviously, employing the best available genetic source of a plant raw material presents an immensely important criterion for later plant material quality, production costs and thus competitiveness.

In this context it is interesting to note that for most plant species with bioactive molecules, little or no breeding efforts have been made so far. This lack of former breeding activities is bane and boon at the same time, because any breeding activities have to start from zero. On the other hand, progress resulting even from preliminary breeding steps usually is significant.

breeding botanicals international’s (bbi’s) team has an outstanding track record with respect to the breeding of bioactive plants (see «Our track record») and variety / cultivar registration.

At bbi the genetic improvement of your plant material, e.g. for the registration of your own variety, will be in competent hands.

Multi-location-multi-accession field trials

Next to genetic factors, numerous environmental factors such as temperature, irradiation, water availability and distribution, water quality, soil type, soil pH, soil organic matter, field exposition, etc. do have significant impact on quality, yield and ultimately on costs of plant production.

To further complicate the matter, individual genetic accessions may react differently to the conditions given at a specific location (interaction of genotype and environment).

Multi-location-multi-accession trials address these environmental factors and provide information regarding the optimum growing environment of the plant material in question.

Conducting and evaluating such trials have been a routine for breeding botanicals international’s staff over the past 20-30 years.

Working with bbi, you will have access to a network of suitably equipped locations in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas for the implementation of multi-location-multi-accession trials (see also Production and Supply of plant material/Global network of expiermental and production sites)

Development of cropping practices

Cultivation practices, such as soil preparation, planting density, fertilization, irrigation, weed management, harvesting time or stage, have an immediate impact on crop quality and yield.

For this reason, a decent and reproducible product quality principally requires crop-specific cultivation guidelines. In most cases, for bioactive plants, such guidelines are simply not available or outdated, since still a large number of bioactive plants is gathered from the wild, associated with various disadvantages and risks such as inhomogeneity, lack of supply security, traceability and documentation, unpredictable price fluctuations etc.

breeding botanicals international (bbi) knows the critical steps in post-harvest handling and how to optimize them from hands-on experience in numerous previous projects.

Identity preserved production: Summarizing the above, bbi compiles crop-specific guidelines (Standard Operation Practices =SOPs) for the manufacturing of plant raw material allowing a control of the major impact factors during field production and subsequent post-harvest treatments, and thus resulting in an identity preserved production of the corresponding plant material (see also chapter “Production and supply of plant Material”.

Pilot production trials

For cost reasons, initial field trials addressing various impact factors simultaneously compass small areas, i.e. few square meters, only. The informative value of such initial trials with respect to large scale production schemes is limited, since extrapolation from a field trial on a few square meters to a field production on one or several hectares often is defective.

For the up-scaling, breeding botanicals international (bbi) recommends and offers pilot production trials of intermediate size which allow a reasonable extrapolation with regard to quality, yield and costs of subsequent commercial production.

Upscale to commercial large scale production

For plant materials which are difficult to obtain from wild collections or for which supply security, sustainability, reproducibility of quality and documentation of production are of major importance,  a commercial large scale production via standardized cultivation is the method of choice.

Up-scaling, establishing and carrying out commercial production schemes compliant with GACP guidelines are major strengths of breeding botanicals international (bbi) as bbi’s staff has proven its expertise in several successfully completed cultivation projects, e.g. Coleus forskohlii, Petasites hybridus, Gloriosa superba, Solanum glaucophyllum, Phyllanthus amarus, Vitex agnus castus(see also chapter “Production and supply of plant material”).

bbi offers to implement and supervise the commercial production of your plant raw material in accordance with your specific needs.

Extract-/Product development

breeding botanicals international (bbi) offers New Product Development (NPD) on the basis of a “One-Stop-Shop” solution. Alternatively we offer a “Modular Support”, including a strategic partnering to identify innovative natural molecules, a concept development and an efficacy proof by bioassays and in vivo studies. Project planning and steering on NPD projects is effected in close co-operation with customers.

Thus, bbi offers complete NPD solutions starting from the set-up of supply chain, analytical and process development, scale-up and (toll) production of natural ingredients


Over a period of more than two decades, the staff of breeding botanicals international (bbi) has implemented and/or supervised various plant breeding and cultivation projects worldwide.

bbi offers to share its own knowledge acquired in numerous development and production projects as consultants, e.g. for the establishment of new cropping systems or for trouble-shooting in existing systems.