Did you know that the lupine flour is it used to prepare gluten-free foods, cookies and even chocolate and mayonnaise? And that i lupins are they protagonists of an agricultural technique called sustainable dry farming which consists in the production of cereals resistant to water shortages?
Well maybe it's not just with the lupins that we will feed the world, but certainly these hyper-nutritious legumes deserve a mention in the Milan EXPO 2015 carousel dedicated to the theme of nutrition under the motto 'Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life'.
Statistics say that a few decades ago in Italy of lupins if we consumed many more, perhaps because there was a greater need for cheap protein, then demand collapsed. Today the cultivation of lupins it is still quite present in the southern regions and could come back into vogue.
Of lupins and lupine flour scientists from all over the world, including the Italians ENEA, are working on responding to the demand for agricultural production that can cope with the greater world food demand without impoverishing the planet.
THE lupins they are not thirsty. Saving water is, as we know, one of the delicate issues of the future. The availability of water resources could become a problem and to give food to everyone it will be necessary to be able to cultivate even areas where there is little water, but preferably without genetic manipulation.
This is why studies are moving towards the production of cereals and legumes with high nutritional values and an excellent response to water stress. At the center of attention are wheat, broad beans, peas and in particular the lupins, such as white lupine is blue lupine, which are very rich in proteins and do not contain gluten.
ENEA's research on lupins take place in the field rather than in the laboratory and have already led to the selection of lupins which do not need to be amarized, that is, soaked in water to be deprived of the alkaloid that makes them very bitter and thus become edible.
The advantage is considerable because the production of pods of sweet lupins directly on the plant makes it possible to feed cattle to pasture, it also helps to improve soil fertility.
Never lupins they can also be important for human nutrition directly or in the protein supplementation of foods. They can provide 35-40% of the proteins they need and in addition they contain high amounts of antioxidants, for example tocopherols.
The nutritional intake of lupins is comparable to that of eggs, with the advantage that the lupine flour made from it is gluten-free and indicated in the diet of people suffering from celiac disease.
In short, more and more lupins in our diet. But what are lupins? We are talking about a legume cultivated since ancient times, the most common variety is the white lupine (lupinus albus), which prefers acid soils and is not afraid of dryness. In addition to the consideration of celiacs because the lupine flour it does not contain gluten, lupine attracts the attention of nutraceuticals for its preventive properties of cardiovascular diseases and hypertension.
On the importance of lupins in nutraceuticals, read also Nutraceuticals: anti-smog corn and other natural secrets