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Lupin seeds used to create low-fat meat protein alternatives

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January 3, 2011

Lupin seed proteins are being used to create low-fat alternative ingredients for use in da...

Lupin seed proteins are being used to create low-fat alternative ingredients for use in dairy products and sausages (Photo: Fraunhofer)

There are definitely two schools of thought as to whether or not humans should have meat in their diet, but even many non-vegetarians claim that the production and consumption of animal protein could definitely stand to at least be scaled back, both for environmental and health reasons. It has been estimated that it takes 40 square meters (48 sq. yards) of land to produce one kilogram (2.2 lbs) of meat, while 120 kilograms (265 lbs) of carrots or 80 kilograms (176 lbs) of apples could be raised within that same space. Obesity and cardiovascular disease, meanwhile, have been linked to high-fat diets – diets which often include things like sausages and hamburgers. With concerns like these in mind, researchers from Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging have developed food ingredients derived from lupin seed proteins, that can reportedly stand in quite convincingly for both milk and animal fat.

Fraunhofer’s Dr.-Ing. Peter Eisner created his “milk substitute” to be used as a base in foods like ice cream or cheese. It apparently is lactose- and cholesterol-free, has a neutral flavor, and is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids.

His colleague Daniela Sussmann utilized a special production method to produce a vegetable protein isolate with fat-like qualities, with lupin seeds as her starting point. The substance has a viscous, creamy consistency, and has already been used to give low-fat liverwurst a juicer, more appealing consistency.

“The microscopic structure of this product resembles that of the fat particles in sausage meat,” she explained. “So you can use it to produce low-fat sausage products that taste just as good as the original.”

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
12 Comments

Hmmmm I prefer to use WHOLE foods, rather than "miracle isolates".... and all the fat bastards eating too much - too bad for you.

Mr Stiffy
3rd January, 2011 @ 04:38 pm PST

I would say that the beans in the picture are broad beans, and not lupin seeds (which as far as I know are poisonous) Apart from that, it seems another interesting piece of research from the wonderful Fraunhofer Institute.

[The photograph was supplied by Fraunhofer - Ed.]

windykites1
4th January, 2011 @ 09:20 am PST

Horses and other animals eating grass actually eat meat in the form of insects. This source of protein is very important to their diet as can be seen by a study in which insects in the grass were carefully removed before feeding the horses. The stamina of the horses was reduced.

I think that a vegetarian diet for people could be enhanced by the addition of small amounts of animal protein. I know that the Hawaiians eating mostly fish protein would add roasted kukui nut (from the candle nut tree) to their diet because it provided a particular amino acid that was missing from fish as compared to meat (pork) protein.

Adrian Akau
4th January, 2011 @ 09:31 am PST

Humans eating cereal also get some protien, and if we ate meat only from insects we would probably be much healthier as people and as a planet. Eating less meat or no meat should be a goal for most first world residents, according to data from sources such as the CDC and WHO, who show strong links between common farming practice and antibiotic resistance, spread of and mutation of disease, and frequent outbreakes of common incurable illness. Vegitarians are nowhere close to short on protien or fat, and vegans are not exactly dropping off from hunger and malnutrition. Both diets are endorsed by dieticians and nutritionists.

That said, veggie burgers and fake cheese are the last holdouts for "gross vegan food" and I wouldn't mind getting to enjoy a slightly better low guilt meal every now and then.

Charles Bosse
4th January, 2011 @ 03:02 pm PST

Use the extra land. I'll take a burger over carrots any day.

Larinator
4th January, 2011 @ 04:02 pm PST

Please correct text or picture... Is this about garden broad beans as depicted or about lupine seeds as decribed?

Facebook User
5th January, 2011 @ 08:11 am PST

"Obesity and cardiovascular disease, meanwhile, have been linked to high-fat diets" - no, they haven't.

Russell Nagami
6th January, 2011 @ 03:48 pm PST

Varieties of Lupin Lupini beans / seed toxic, not so toxic & preparation sorted

out in wikipedia article including " Newly bred variants of sweet lupins are grown extensively in Germany". Fraunhofer is located in Germany (country code for Germany is "de" for Deutschland which is German, AKA Deutsch, for Germany)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lupin_bean

Dave B13
19th January, 2011 @ 06:45 am PST

Isn't it amazing how we as a species have existed for millennia on whole foods grown from the earth, without the help of test tubes and genetic modification, which this undoubtedly is. I love the justification these laboratories (Monstanto, Bayer, etc.) have for feeding us GMO's. It's creamier, it's low-fat, it's......whatever. Yes, we should eat less meat than we do, but don't go on about how eating too much fat is killing us, when processed foods are all full of trans fats, denatured and heated fats, sugar, and chemicals we can't even get our tongue around to pronounce. The same industries that are killing us are trying to save us? Anything to make a buck and get more research funds. GMO's were supposed to feed the world, remember? That's what they sold us, and some believed them. It's not happening. Not much the food industry tells us happens. More people are dying every day because of food allergies from GMO's. This is another "food" that I think I can pass up. If fat is an issue, stop eating so much of it. Problem solved.

Sieglinde Proctor
29th February, 2012 @ 08:49 am PST

@ Sieglinde Proctor,

That is an oversimplified view of human agriculture. Humans have been slowly improving crops and domestic animals for ages. If this feeds more people healthier food and inexpensively, then I say it's good. While GMOs have downsides, the increase in food production is a definite benefit. There is no black and white.

Eric Michael Martin
2nd March, 2012 @ 01:59 pm PST

If you don't want GMO food, avoid soybeans at all cost unless you know their source. Soybeans are the #1 most commonly GM'ed food product, even more so than corn. That said, I don't have a problem with GMO food, my reason for limitting soy intake is the stimulated production of estrogen. And cuz I love bacon. And sausage, so I take this as a positive development. I'd like to try some of that liverwurst. On french bread with brown mustard and emental cheese, Mm mm!

Facebook User
26th March, 2012 @ 09:43 am PDT

The Lupin seeds works for Cholestrol. Where can I get some seeds?

Anna En Joseph Kelbrick
21st April, 2014 @ 03:53 am PDT
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