The yield of dry biomass and lupin beans appears to be very high. Moreover, thanks to the low nutritional requirements, the crop grows well on ‘poor’ agricultural land, such as on volcanic ash, mountain slopes or dried-out soil. It works as a soil improver.
The business case of Andean Lupin is similar to that of soy; the bean contains more proteins (about 40%) and about as much oil (20%). Thanks to the good fatty acid composition, the lupin oil is perfectly suited for food applications such as margarine and mayonnaise, but also for non-food applications such as paints, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.
Moreover, the bean is very rich in proteins and alkaloids, which can be used as functional food ingredients and as cattle feed. Alkaloids have possible uses in anticancer medicines and as naturally biodegradable plant protection products.
In order to extract both the oil and the alkaloids from the lupin solvent-free, the Zernike Advanced Processing facility of the Hanze University of Applied Sciences, University of Groningen and Noorderpoort ROC recently set up a semi-industrial supercritical extraction unit, with two reactor vessels of 10 liters each, connected in series.