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.