Lupin for all tastes
Lupin is not just a beautiful plant, it is also the name of the very versatile little bean this plant produces, which can be transformed into all kinds of dishes for all moments of the day, both sweet and savoury. Lupin beans are rich in proteins and amino acids, which is why lupine can make a valuable contribution to the protein transition. By joining forces with other companies, Lekker Lupine (which translates as ‘Tasteful Lupin’) wants to introduce the lupin bean to all and sundry and search for new applications. The goal is to make sure that in ten years from now, everybody in the Netherlands will have eaten lupin.
“Cakes, breakfast cereals, dairy alternatives, curries, salads and snacks. Breakfast or dinner, sweet or savoury, the whole bean, grounded, or dried and grounded to flour. Anything and everything can be made with lupin. There are over 200 species of lupin. We use the white lupin bean, which is fit for human consumption and, just like soy, is rich in proteins and amino acids. A real advantage of lupin is that it can be grown in the Netherlands and, therefore, lupine proteins are more sustainable than the proteins you import from the other side of the world. The beans are grown biologically and biodynamically. In addition, lupin has a number of special qualities, such as the absorption of nitrogen and its positive effect on soil quality and biodiversity”, so says Marieke Laméris, one of the founders of Lekker Lupine.
Sustainable plant-based proteins from Dutch soil
In July 2021, Lekker Lupine joined Foodvalley NL Innovation field Protein Shift and The Protein Cluster. The start-up knows a lot about sustainably growing and marketing lupin beans. Marieke continues: “Right now, we supply cooked lupin beans in glass jars that are already available in supermarkets, and we also sell dried lupin beans ourselves. But sales could go up considerably if we develop new ways to use the lupin bean. As an ingredient, lupin is suitable for all kinds of purposes, and it is functional. This fits the trend of personalised nutrition. Lupin beans can, for example, be used in a protein-rich diet for professional athletes as well as in healthcare. Together with other businesses, we would like to explore these opportunities. Because we believe in short chains and local production, we focus on Dutch biological growers and the Dutch market. But we do find Foodvalley’s international network very interesting, because lupin is also grown and processed in other countries. I hope that we can learn from each other.”
Lekker Lupine works hard to make the lupine bean famous, as you can tell by the prizes the company has won. Lekker Lupine won the Rabo Food Forward 2020 in the Dutch province of Gelderland. Marieke was also chosen as 1 of the 100 today’s food changers and tomorrow’s game changers in the Food100 of 2020.
All the links in the chain
Lekker Lupine focusses on three areas: growing and development, revenue and product development, and community. “Lupin is a new food source. To introduce it successfully, we need the whole chain. Within our own community we have all the links: from seed supplier to consumer. In addition, we have much contact with biological growers, knowledge institutions, chefs and the hospitality and catering industry. By becoming a Foodvalley member, we can share and expand our network”, Marieke concludes.
Marieke Laméris, André Jurrius, Laurens van Run
Watch a short video on Lekker Lupine