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Information @ a Glance

General

  • Lupins are a legume grown predominantly in Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales for stockfeed. There are two basic types of lupins, bitter and sweet varieties. The ones currently grown commercially as a stockfeed in Australia are the sweet types of the narrow leafed lupin (L. angustifolius) which has the cultivars Merrit, Gungurru, Warrah, Yorrel and Danj and the white lupin (L. albus) which has the cultivars Ultra, Hamburg, Kiev and Neuland.
  • Lupins are popular ornamental plants in gardens. There are numerous hybrids and cultivars. Some species, such as Lupinus polyphyllus and hybrids like the Rainbow Lupin (Lupinus regalis) are common garden flowers. Others, such as the Yellow Bush Lupin L. arboreus are considered invasive weeds when they appear outside their native range.

Process

  • The Sweet White Lupin Bean produces three principal products: Lupin oil, Lupin flour and Lupin fiber. Crude Lupin Oil is produced by a process called solvent extraction. After the seed has been cleaned and dehulled by machines, crushed and its oil removed the remaining flakes are called Lupin meal. The fiber may be separated and the remaining product is often micro-ground into flour. The Sweet White Lupin Bean also produces a valuable secondary product, Lupin sprouts.

Market

  • The current domestic market for lupini bean is estimated at 500 tonnes per annum, while the overseas market is about 2000 tonnes possibly rising to 5000 tonnes over time. These are relatively small volumes compared with the sweet albus industry, which was about 70 000 tonnes per annum in NSW in 1999 but fell to about 10 000 tonnes during the 2002 and 2003 droughts. In better seasons about 30 000 tonnes of the sweet crop is exported for the human consumption market. The balance of the domestic production is either fed to stock or processed for addition to foods. Hulls, for example, are used in bread as a source of vegetable fibre

Application

  • Lupins are used as green manure and in rotation with wheat because they are capable of fixing nitrogen from the atmosphere and converting it to a usable form. In Western Australia, sustained wheat yields are directly dependant on the rotational benefits of lupins. They are also used for weed management and between fields of cereal crops to keep diseases from spreading.
  • The Sweet White Lupin Bean produces three principal products: Lupin oil, Lupin flour and Lupin fiber.  Lupin Oil is an industrial feed stock used in the creation of two vegetable oil products: technical refined oil, and edible refined oil.  Lupin meal can be directly used as food for livestock, fish and poultry, and can be finely ground into Lupin flour or coarsely ground into Lupin grits. Lupin fiber is made from the hull of the Lupin seed and is an important and edible Lupin by-product

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