A pulse from Australia

The United Nations has hailed 2016 as the “International Year of the Pulses.” North Americans may recognize such pulses as peas, beans and chickpeas, which may contain high levels of protein and fiber.

Legume, a pulse, is more popular in Australia, but lupin flour has entered the North American market. Lupin is about 40% protein and 30% fiber, said Colleen Madden, innovation manager for CK Ingredients, Toronto.
Incorporating lupin flour at a 20% level may help bread manufacturers achieve "good source of protein" claim.

The company offers sweet lupin flour by sourcing lupin from Irwin Valley, a company in Australia.

“Lupin grown in western Australia has very low levels of alkaloids, thereby eliminating the bitterness of the material and dramatically improving palatability,” Ms. Madden said.

Incorporating lupin flour at 5% may create bread with 4 grams of protein and 1.2 grams of fiber per serving, she said. At 20% substitution rates of lupin for whole wheat flour, a protein level of 5.5 grams per serving may be achieved, enough for a “good source” claim.

Incorporating lupin flour at 40% may lead to 11 grams of protein and an “excellent source” claim, Ms. Madden said. Lupin also has a glycemic index of 11, making lupin flour a potential inclusion in diabetic-friendly bread.

Additional water will be needed in formulas with more than 5% lupin flour, Ms. Madden said. Lupin flour bakes more quickly than wheat flour and will darken, which means bakers should reduce temperatures or carefully watch cooking times.

“Lupin pairs extremely well with wheat flour and with the flour of all of the traditional grain products,” she said. “Since lupin has a bland, slightly hazelnut ‘nutty’ or light ‘beany’ flavor, it is easy to blend into any formulation.”

She added, “In gluten-free bread formulas lupin is often used at 10% to 20%, and its functionality helps drastically improve the texture, color and palatability of the finished goods.”

When used in conjunction with other gluten-free flours like rice and quinoa, lupin may help add structure and texture, Ms. Madden said. Its golden yellow color may improve the appearance of gluten-free products. In pastries, cookies and cakes, lupin offers a gourmet, yellow color and adds moisture enrichment during processing, she said.

Ingredion, Inc., Westchester, Ill., now offers Homecraft pulse flours due to a distribution alliance with AGT Food and Ingredients, Regina, Sask., which sources, processes and distributes pulse ingredients. Homecraft pulse flours may add protein and fiber to cereal and snack foods and also may replace eggs in baked foods.