Lupin health benefits

Lupin grains have been part of the human diet in parts of Southern Europe and the South American Andes for thousands of years1. Lupin seeds are rich in protein, ranging from 30-40% of whole seeds2. When the seed coat is removed from the seed of narrow-leafed lupin, the kernel contains 40-45% protein and 25-30% dietary fibre, and low fat and carbohydrate content3. When included in bread, lupin kernel flour has been shown to increase satiety (feeling full) and reduce intake of energy, which are valuable properties in the context of growing obesity and diabetes in the population3. Research is underway to understand the molecular machinery that produced seed proteins in lupins, a first step to develop tools for increasing the quality and quantity of seed protein in lupin breeding4. A portion of the population shows allergic responses to lupin flour and research is underway to understand the components of lupin seed proteins associated with allergenicity5.

1. Gladstones JS (1970) Lupins as crop plants. Field Crop Abstracts 23:123-148

2. Williams W (1979) Studies on the development of lupins for oil and protein. Euphytica 28:481-488

3. Lee YP, Mori TA, Sipsas S, Barden A, Puddey IB, Burke V, Hall RS, Hodgson JM (2006) Lupin-enriched bread increases satiety and reduces energy intake acutely. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 84:975-980

4. Foley R, Gao L-L, Spriggs A, Soo L, Goggin D, Smith P, Atkins C, Singh K (2011) Identification and characterisation of seed storage protein transcripts from Lupinus angustifolius. BMC Plant Biology 11: 59

5. Goggin DE, Mir G, Smith WB, Stuckey M, Smith PMC (2008) Proteomic analysis of lupin seed proteins to identify conglutin β as an allergen, Lup an 1. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 56:6370-6377