Western Australian (WA) scientists are working with a novel grain crop called Lupin, which makes healthy bread that keeps women feeling fuller for longer.
A panel of WA experts from the Centre for Food and Genomic Medicine recently presented the public seminar ‘Lupins and Diabesity: Food for thought’ to highlight the benefits of lupins for diabesity sufferers.
Western Australia’s Centre for Food and Genomic Medicine (CFGM) is a collaborative effort formed to tackle the twin epidemics of diabetes and obesity, known as ‘diabesity’.
Lupin grain crop is one of several key areas of research at the CFGM, which is working on new foods with the power to reduce appetite.
According to Dr Jonathan Hodgson, a principal research fellow at the CFGM, lupin kernel flour is high in protein and fibre and has been shown to lower cholesterol in humans.
“Lupin kernel flour is novel food ingredient with a unique macronutrient composition. It contains about 45 per cent protein, 30 per cent dietary fibre and almost no carbohydrates,” he said.
Together with Bodhi’s Bakery in Fremantle, the CFGM has developed a bread enriched in lupin flour.
“Lupin kernel flour can be substituted for wheat flour in baked foods such as breads to increase protein and fibre and reduce carbohydrate content,” said Dr Hodgson.
“Forty per cent of flour usually present in white bread is replaced with lupin flour.”
A study in overweight women examining the effects of lupin on appetite comparing white bread with lupin bread was conducted at the CFGM.
“What we found in this study was that the lupin bread in comparison to the white bread resulted in increased self-reported fullness and reduced hunger three hours after a meal,” said Dr Hodgson.
“[Lupin bread] reduced energy (food) intake by 25 per cent within a meal and participants also ate less for the following meal.”
The lupin grain, which is made up of a hard outer seed coat and an inner kernel, has multiple uses and additional benefits according to Ms Sophia Sipsas from the Department of Agriculture and Food.
“You can sprout [the lupin seed] and eat it whole,” said Ms Sipsas.
“Lupin kernel flour can be used in bakery products such as biscuits, cakes, croissants, pasta and noodles.
“Protein can be extracted from lupins and can be used to make a lupin milk, mayonnaise and sauces.
“Lupins help improve bowel health by helping improve the micro flora and pH of gut,” she said.
“The carotenoids of lupin, lutein and zeaxanthin, have been implicated to be important in age-related macular degeneration. As you age, people lose pigments in their eye. Preliminary data suggests that a diet high in these two components helps reduce degeneration as you age.”
Other bioactive agents in lupins have been shown to be anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory and used in skin regeneration.
(Source: Science Network Western Australia: September 2008)