Delicious and Plant-Based: Ice Cream With Lupin Proteins

Terms: Nutrition


ScienceDaily (July 21, 2011) — Summer without ice cream — for many, it’s unthinkable. But those who are milk or lactose-intolerant must often go without. Fraunhofer researchers now offer an alternative: “Lupinesse” — the purely plant-based delicacy that is free of lactose and cholesterol, with valuable lupin protein. The ice cream will debut on the shelves of the EDEKA supermarket chain on May 9, 2011.

A summer’s tale: You’re sitting on your patio or balcony on a warm evening. A gentle breeze cools the heat of the day. Before you sits a bowl with a variety of ice cream flavors and fresh fruit. Now, just in time for the warm season of the year, this is a pleasure available even to those who do not tolerate dairy products. Vanilla-Cherry, Strawberry-Mousse, Walnut Dream and Choco-Flakes — these are the four LUPINESSE flavors on offer at EDEKA Suedbayern and EDEKA Suedwest in Germany. This new ice cream is made from formulas devised by Fraunhofer researchers: It is purely a plant-based product, containing valuable proteins from the seeds of the indigenous blue sweet lupin and completely free of lactose, gluten, cholesterol and animal proteins and fats.

There have been repeated attempts in the past to create food products from lupins. “We had already written off the lupins in the late 1990s,” recalls Klaus Mueller of the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV in Freising, Germany. But then came a suggestion from Gerhard Kloth, a lupin expert, to use the blue sweet lupin. “The first products were promising, but their taste, creamy consistency and quality were far from the ice cream we are now bringing to market,” Mueller remembers.

The secret behind the special flavor lies in the selection of the lupin variety, combined with a special production method. The blue sweet lupin is particularly rich in protein, has a balanced flavor, flourishes when grown in Germany and naturally improves soil quality with its nitrogen-binding roots. The researchers use the high-quality protein from the seeds to make the ice cream. “The high portion of protein is important for the creamy consistency,” Mueller explains. And the cholesterol-regulating effects of the lupin protein make the new ice cream nutritiously valuable at the same time.

A spinoff of the IVV, Prolupin GmbH, is in charge of producing and marketing the ice cream. The company, headquartered in Neubrandenburg, Germany, cooperates with “PlantsProFood — Food from the Blue Sweet Lupin,” a growers’ initiative sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and involving a total of 14 partners. Here, the lupin — also referred to as “the soybean of the North” — is cultivated and has been used to produce lupin protein since January 2011.

Hans Georg Maier, Managing Director of EDEKA Suedbayern GmbH, explains the expansion in the ice cream assortment: “We are very pleased to be able to offer our customers a brand new food product in the form of Lupinesse ice cream, providing nutrition-conscious people, people allergic to dairy protein and lactose-intolerant people a safe way to enjoy ice cream. This non-dairy ice cream is a first; there has never been a product like this on the market until now. It will certainly meet with wide acceptance.”