New lupine drinks developed
The lupine has long been used as a cheap livestock food due to its high protein content. Recently though, further properties have been discovered that could launch it into the realm of a nutritious health food with a string of medical benefits. The seeds are low in lipid and are lactose and gluten free. As part of the diet, they can reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and hyperglycaemia. Agriculturally, the lupine is an aesthetically pleasing crop which is a nitrogen fixer and therefore deposits nitrogen into the soil. HEALTHY PROFOOD project partners researched methods to produce food products from lupine ingredients. The team at Terrena, an agricultural cooperative in France, focused on the production of a vegetable drink that would be a replacement for soy and cow's milk drinks. Two basic methods were developed, the first from lupine protein isolate and the second with its base as lupine flour. The protein-based drink was prepared using high pressure homogenisation. As for lupine flour products, the scientists extracted the protein at a basic pH in order to obtain the most soluble products. UHT (ultra heat treatment) sterilised the drink to increase the shelf life. Analysis of the vanilla flavoured product showed it was rich in protein, omega-3 and minerals calcium, iron and magnesium. The cocoa and vanilla flavoured drinks were evaluated by a panel on the basis of sensory appeal. Opinions overall indicated that the lupine drinks were comparable, or better than their soy equivalent as regards appearance, smell, colour and taste. The future for lupine based drinks looks as if it will continue to expand its market share. As an alternative to GM soy or animal protein, the lupine drink can occupy a niche for a healthy delicious nutritious drink. Furthermore, there are possibilities for the development of yogurt or cream type products.