Plant-based Diet Trend on the Rise
Austraian Lupin, the superfood of the future has arrived
Australian lupin has been gaining interest amongst foodies and dieticians, with many dubbing it the superfood of the future thanks to its high protein and high dietary fibre values coupled with a low glycaemic index, and being gluten-free, vegan friendly and non-GMO.
New to Thailand, lupin has been actually consumed for centuries by people around the world, especially in the Mediterranean and in the Andean mountains of South America. In the early days, consumption of lupins was limited because of its bitterness. Like other pulses, it needed to be soaked in water before consuming.
To popularise the healthy beans, new lupin varieties have been developed in Australia and, with the bitterness removed, Australian lupins do not require soaking or any heat treatment prior to cooking or consuming.
While lupins are enjoying their new status as a superfood, like other legumes, lupins help fertilize the fields and reduce carbon too, as their cultivation adds nitrogen naturally and improves soil quality.
Dr. Weeraya Karnpanich, a Thai science and nutrition researcher who has co-authored at least two scientific research papers on sweet lupins, confirms their outstanding nutritional value and health benefits. The high level of oligosaccharide also indicates that lupins are suitable as a functional food with a prebiotic effect, promoting the growth of good bacteria and strengthening gut health.
Lupins have outperformed several well-known grains and superfoods. Lupin kernels contain as much as 40 percent of protein, three times more than quinoa. Thanks to this high protein level, lupins can be a good source of plant-based protein for those who are building muscles, growing kids and the health-conscious.
Lupins are also loaded with dietary fibre, containing 37 percent, or about three times higher than oats.
Moreover, lupins have the lowest glycemic index (GI) of the grains consumed the most frequently. Lupins help slow down the absorption of sugars into the bloodstream and can therefore balance blood glucose levels in diabetics and those with pre-diabetes.
Another interesting quality is that lupins are naturally gluten-free, making them a safe snack for those allergic to gluten or who suffer from Celiac disease.
In terms of minerals and vitamins, lupins also perform well. The legume contains higher iron than kale and more potassium than bananas and more magnesium than spinach.
With all these nutritional benefits, lupins have captured dietician and consumer interest and become an interesting food choice for health-conscious people, especially those who favour a plant-based diet.
Suwapak Kalayanasant, Business Development Director, THAI-WA Lupin Products Co., Ltd., a Thai-Australian joint venture and the producer of Pinarie-brand lupin snacks, said the company imports all its sweet lupins from Australia, which is the world’s largest lupin producer. Approximately 80 percent of sweet lupins consumed around the world are from Western Australia.
“We see strong potential of sweet lupins both in terms of nutrition and the economy. Here in Thailand, we are the exclusive company to process lupins into flakes and flour, which can be used to create a lot of dishes as well as bakery items. This means more choices of healthy food and more business opportunities for locals,” said Suwapak.
In Thailand, lupins made their debut at THAIFEX 2019. THAI-WA Lupin Products has developed and introduced their first ready-to-eat product made from lupins. Combining lupins from Western Australia with Thailand’s famous jasmine rice, the new “Pinarie” snack emerges as a healthy and tasty super-snack that brings not only health benefits from the Superfood but also an enjoyment with no guilt.
“Everyone loves snacks. Sadly, most snacks contain lots of fat, carbohydrate, salt and sugar, which affect people’s health in the long run. These days though, more and more people are looking for a healthy snack choice. “
For those who love cooking or SMEs who wish to create their own and unique food products, whole seed, halved, flake and flour are available. Contact www.pinariefoods.com or https://www.facebook.com/pinariesnacksthailand/, and https://www.instagram.com/pinariesnacks_thailand/.