PlantsProFood – biofunctional food ingredients

Fraunhofer Group for Life Sciences

Lupine seeds – source of nutritionally valuable food ingredients.
© Fraunhofer ITEM

PlantsProFood – Isolation of biofunctional “Food Ingredients” from lupine seeds for the food industry

Companies and research organizations have joined in the group PlantsProFood to focus on developing new food ingredients from regional blue sweet lupines (Lupinus angustifolius). The production of highly functional lupine protein isolates and fiber makes it possible for food producers to develop innovative plant derived food.

Lupine protein isolate from blue sweet lupine is superior to classic products from soy and domestic legumes. They solve taste and texture problems of classic products. In addition, they offer many unique characteristics, because worldwide there is currently no production of genetically engineered lupines. The core growth PlantsProFood was initiated with the support of BioCon Valley, the Network for Life Science, and the health economy of the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. It will be funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) until 2013.

Strengthening of the domestic agriculture and food industry: Variety development, development of new innovative foods and food ingredients.

Blue sweet lupine seeds contain valuable protein and fiber. Ten businesses and four research organizations are involved in the regional core growth project PlantsProFood to make a broad application possible.

Blue sweet lupines are considered high in protein with a content of 35 %. Currently they are used mainly as a green fertilizer and feed crop. In contrast to soybean protein plants, its high cultivatable potential allows variety optimization without gene engineering. Sweet lupines are also of interest because they can be excellently grown in the Central European climate. Especially the light soil in the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern region offers ideal prerequisites.

The goal of the research project PlantsProFood is to prepare the industrial processing of lupines and to establish new application potentials. Aside from variety breeding optimization, gentle technical procedures are being developed to obtain functional protein isolates and fiber concentrates. Various project partners are working on product development of lupine protein foods such as sausages, pasta, and baked goods.

The project is being funded in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern as part of the innovation initiative “Neue Länder” of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research BMBF. The competitiveness of local farms and the food processing industry are supported by the use of domestic raw materials to isolate new food ingredients.

The research project is divided into seven group projects:

  • LUPIROH – New blue sweet lupine varieties as raw materials for the food industry (two project partners)
  • LUPIING – Development of a facility to prepare and extract ingredients from lupine seeds and to modify protein isolates (six project partners)
  • LUPIWURST – Development of low fat sausages as well as vegetarian sausage and meat surrogates (two project partners)
  • LUPIFEIN – Development of lupine protein based food emulsions (two project partners)
  • LUPIPASTA – Development of lupine protein based pasta (two project partners)
  • LUPIBACK – Development of lupine protein based baked goods (two project partners)
  • LUPISENS – Method development for the sensory evaluation of lupine based foods (one project partners)


Prolupin Ltd., a spin-off-company of the Fraunhofer-Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging plays an important role in the core growth. The Prolupin Ltd. manages the group project LUPIING. This new enterprise is currently building a pilot facility to process lupines. After this group project has been completed, it will implement the lupine technology at an industrial scale.

You can find further information on this research project at www.plantsprofood.eu

- Variety development: Only European-wide breeding research i.e.

  • Unique breeding material
  • Seed propogation
  • Seed marketing and culture consulting

- Protein isolate production: Patent for blue lupine protein especially for ice cream

  • Spin-off with patent-usage rights
  • Facility for protein production

- Food production: Food design (registered design)

  • Process and product tolerance
  • GMO-free
  • Modern (soft & smooth)
  • Without eggs, casein, meat
  • Positive ecobalance

ProLupin GmbH
Katrin Petersen
Seestraße 7a
D-17033 Neubrandenburg

www.prolupin.de