Lupine the new soy?

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Lupine protein is well suited as a vegetarian meat substitute

More and more people are consciously trying to reduce their consumption of meat and other animal products. In particular, the vegan diet has also gained in popularity in recent months due to the success of the diet. Soy is still the most frequently used meat substitute for vegetarians and vegans. However, the vegetable protein of the blue lupine is enjoying growing popularity here.

Lupins are plants from the legume genus, the seeds of which contain high-quality proteins that can be processed into meat substitutes, among other things. However, some varieties contain toxic bitter substances and should therefore not be consumed. The seeds of the blue sweet lupine () are particularly suitable for the production of various meat substitutes and vegan foods. In the meantime, vegan schnitzel, burgers, but also pasta without animal protein, vegan curd cheese and lactose-free lupine ice cream as well as numerous other products based on lupine protein are offered.

Vegan ice cream and other vegan food The company ProLupin from Grimmen, which has been offering various lupine products for around half a year, explains that a process patented by the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging made a lupine protein isolate, lupine fibers, Lupine oil and lupine peels can be obtained. These products could be processed in food for different purposes. As an example, ProLupin names the lactose-free ice cream "Lupinesse", which is suitable for people with lactose intolerance on the one hand and is also suitable for a vegan diet. "Each of our products improves specific product properties in food in different ways," the company continues.

Reports of serious allergic reactions “The seeds of the cultivated sweet lupins have favorable nutritional properties. They are low in calories and rich in minerals, rich in protein and fiber, and low in digestible carbohydrates, ”reports the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR). In addition, the content of uric acid-forming purines in lupins is very low and they are cholesterol-free, according to the BfR. However, the institute also points out that certain proteins in lupins can trigger allergic reactions. "Reports of serious allergic reactions from lupine products" were the reason for the BfR to "describe the frequency of the use of lupine products in food and the occurrence of hypersensitivity reactions to lupins."

Frequency of allergies could increase According to the BfR, there have already been some cases "in which consumers have had skin reactions, breathing problems, cramps or even a life-threatening allergic hypersensitivity (anaphylactic.) After eating pizza or gingerbread whose dough mixtures contain lupine flour as an ingredient Shock) reacted. ”Given its allergenic potential, lupine falls under the EU labeling requirement for allergens. BfR fears that if lupine products are used more often because of their taste or freshness, the frequency of allergies to lupine protein could increase. "In France, lupine products rank fourth in the order of food that has led to anaphylactic reactions," the BfR said.

Observe cross-allergy risk The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment mentions oral allergy syndromes, inflammation of the nasal mucosa, conjunctivitis (rhinoconjunctivitis), edema, urticaria (urticaria), shortness of breath, abdominal pain, nausea and life-threatening anaphylactic anemia as possible symptoms of a lupine allergy. In addition, cross-reactions with allergens from soybeans, peanuts, green beans and peas are known. According to the BfR, studies have shown, for example, a relatively high risk of cross allergy of 30 to 60 percent in people with peanut allergy. Anyone who struggles with conspicuous symptoms after eating lupine-based meat substitute products or other lupine foods should therefore avoid further consumption and consult an allergist if in doubt. (fp)

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