On my page "Where Is the Peanut Hiding?" I list items that pose a hidden danger to people allergic to peanuts. A rather obscure food called Lupin is quickly becoming a more commonly used ingredient and food, especially in Europe and the Mediterranean region. (also Australia, USA, Canada, South America,)
WARNING- Unfortunately many PEANUT ALLEGIC individuals can have a serious allergic reaction to lupin.
What is lupin?
Lupinus, commonly called lupine in the U.S. or lupin in Europe and Australia, is a common garden plant genus in the legume family, related to legumes such as peanuts,lentils,beans and peas. There are many different types of lupin. The majority of lupin is used for animal feed. "Sweet lupine" varieties are used in foods.
Some lupin varieties produce seeds which are used in foods.
Lupin seed are high in protein and have the full range of essential amino acids.
Lupin in Food-
In many mainland European countries, particularly Italy and France, lupin flour and /or peanut flour may be mixed with Wheat flour in baked goods and pasta. Common uses include bread, pizza, pasta, cookies, cereals, gluten-free products, biscuits, onion rings, tomato sauce, chicken bouillon cubes
Lupin seeds are being recognized as a cheaper alternative to soy, becoming a more popular replacement for soy in recipes and other products.
Lupine may be added to food as a fat replacement. (U.S. manufacturers will love this). Researchers in Europe have found new uses for Lupin in low-fat products.
Think low-fat sausage, low-fat ice cream, cream cheese and low-fat baked goods.
In the Mediterranean the yellow legume seed of lupins are called lupini beans.
Popular since Roman times, these beans are often soaked in brine and sold in jars like pickles. They are often eaten as a snack. Cento, an Italian manufacturer sells jars of Lupini Beans. You can find them right here in the United States. Lupini Beans are very popular in Italy.
- of course that is where we will be traveling with our peanut allergic son this summer.
You can buy a paper cone of lupini beans from a street vendor in Rome.
Lupini Beans are popular as appetizers in many countries including Egypt, Syria. Called "altramuz" in Spain and Argentina and in Italy and Portugal called "tremoços"
Lupini Beans are incorporated into foods served in restaurants in many countries.
They are used in Soups, Stews, Salads, and Entrees plus Hummus where lupine beans can replace chick peas.
Newly bred variants of "sweet lupins" are widely grown in Germany. The seeds are used in sausages, lupi-tofu and lupin flour.
Gluten Free Products
Although mostly unknown by American consumers, lupin is used in the U.S. in many gluten-free and high-protein products. It is not widely used in the U.K.
to see more information on lupin used for food fiber)
Lupin may cause an allergic reaction if you have a peanut allergy ranging from Hives to anaphylatic reactions.
TRAVELING TO EUROPE-
We are traveling to Italy and France this summer. What should I do in order to protect my son?
We do not know if he is allergic to lupin. I feel I should have him tested, but "where o where" will I ever find the so far obscure lupini bean in the U.S. much less in Texas. Seriously!
I went into "protective parent" mode and did my research to find lupini beans locally. I felt in had seen them somewhere....I had the picture of a jar in my head.
YES- success! Central Market, to their surprise, carries them. I will hop in the car today to purchase them.
FOOD Labeling rules in the EU require pre-packed food sold in the UK or the rest of the European Union (EU) to show clearly on the label if a product contains lupin (or if one of its ingredients contains it). Lupin has been approved for use in bread flour in Europe since 1997.
Thus I think we will be able to avoid the danger of "packaged food" by reading the labels.
If Alexander proves to be allergic to lupin,
the big problem for us will probably be restaurantfood
and their use of lupini beans or lupin containing foods such a bread and pasta. Even tomato sauce can contain lupine flour. Ugh!
Plan of action?
1) See if our allergist can test our son for an allergy to lupine.
2) See if the jarred of lupini beans will work or if I have to source the raw beans. I have read online about the difficulty in soaking and cooking these beans so I do hope I won't have to be "chef mom".
3) Order Select Wisely food allergy translation cards for use on our European holiday.
HELP -I have many Europeans who read my blog. I need your help. If you know of foods that contain lupine please tell me using the Comment box.
Thank you so very much- Julie