White Lupine (Lupinus albus L., 1753) is an annual plant of the Fabaceae family, with elongated floral axis.
The white lupine, from a systematic point of view, belongs to the Eukaryota Domain, Kingdom Plantae, Magnoliophyta Division, Magnoliopsida Class, Fabales Order, Fabaceae Family, Faboidee Subfamily, Genisteae Tribe and then Genus Lupinus and Species L. albus.
The name of the genus means: of the wolf, anchoring with the Greek “lýpe” = pain and “stepping” in the probable meaning of legumes for the wolves as toxic; The specific appellation refers to the prevalent color of the flowers. However, the term used for genus is derived, with various motives, from Latin lupus, while albus refers to the color of flowers to distinguish it from other species that produce flowers with different colors and shades. The plant is commonly known as lupine, although sometimes the white adjective can be added to distinguish it from other wild species and above all by the many ornamental varieties increasingly fashionable. The dialect names are mostly used for the term lupine.
Geographic Distribution and Habitat –
Lupine is a grain legume known and diffused from the earliest antiquity in the Mediterranean basin and the Middle East for its remarkable adaptability to the most ungainly, acidic and lean environments where every other legume fails. The White Lupine is considered to be an improving soil plant in terms of nitrogen fertilization and would seem to originate in Europe. It fits well to sandy-sandy soils. The peculiarity of the Lupine is to prosper in loose and well drained, from the floor to about 1,000 m s.l.m. Vegeta in Italy to Po and Liguria and in many European regions.
Lupinus albus is an annual herbaceous plant, erected up to 1.5 m long, slightly branched and pubescent, with a robust root, rooted and rich in radical tubercules due to Rhizobium symbionate. Leaning against the racemic axis. Pleasant to see for the silvery green color of beautiful palmed, lanceolate leaves with a light hairy and beautiful summery white flowers that are assembled in inflorescences at apex ridge which, after fertilization, predominantly autogama, form legumes that are long and erect. The fruits are legumes with seeds, lupins, slightly flattened coffee.
Like all types of lupins, Lupinus albus fears water stagnation and radical asphyxiation, requiring loose and well-drained soils. Sub-acids of volcanic origin are the most suitable. Lupine should be considered as an enhancing crop that alternates with autumn cereal.
Sowing is done in October-November on distant files from 0.25 to 0.35 m to get 20-30 plants per square meter. Maturation takes place in June-July; Today it tends to dry the plants in the field and then proceed with threshing. Average production of 2.5-3.5 tons per hectare.
Malware control can be accomplished with false seed and in any case with careful application of the rotations.
Maturation is achieved in June-July. Traditionally, the lupine was harvested before full ripening, cutting or grubbing the plants, leaving them in the field to complete the drying and threshing them afterwards.
Harvesting with a combine harvester is hindered by the schooling with which the pods mature, the easy debonization of the pods themselves and the possibility that the seeds are broken by the working organs of the combine harvester.
The cryptogamous adversities that can seriously injure the lupine are the radical rot (Fusarium spp., Rhizoctonia solani, Phythium debaryanum), favored by the asphyxiant soil. Even several viruses can attack this species.
Lupine is a legume containing a high nitrogen content which, when released from legume on the soil, is released slowly. This product is used to improve soil fertility for cereal crops, and in any case its cultivation should only be resumed for agronomic reasons but to resume a growing biodiversity increasingly threatened by highly energizing agriculture.
In Italy, lupine cultivation collapsed as a result of the depopulation of the disadvantaged areas in which the lupine had found inclusion in poorly planted crops. The Italian regions where the lupine has the largest spread are Calabria, Lazio, Apulia and Campania.
New expansion prospects could open up for lupine with the selection of very low varieties of alkaloids (sweet varieties).
Uses and Traditions –
Lupine is a spontaneous plant known since antiquity but from the ancient (Egyptians, Greeks, Romans) also cultivated. Lupine food is lost in the night of the times, so that lupins, called thermos, were the food of cynical philosophers or were eaten by the Greeks with propitiatory functions.
When we say “lupine,” perhaps to many of us comes to mind the novel “I Malavoglia” by Giovanni Verga, in which are told the vicissitudes of this family who lost a load of lupins!
The lupine has long been a prey to the poorest populations, as it is useful for the considerable protein intake. Over the last few centuries research has focused on lupines as a food plant, from which many other products can be obtained.
Various therapeutic properties are also attributed to the lupine: anti-inflammatory, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, emmenagogues. The active ingredients are found in the seeds. In some parts of the Mediterranean, lupins are eaten raw, after diving and several water changes for several days, as anti-digestive.
Frequent in certain areas of Cento Italia use as a food for diabetics.
Today, industrial flours and other lupine-based preparations with dietary and medicinal products are produced, but the use of untreated spontaneous lupins, raw, for therapeutic purposes, is strongly discouraged due to the possible serious problems of kidney intoxication And liver or other important organs that can cause it.
The lupine is an excellent nitrogen fixator and is often the recipient of this function in agricultural practices, besides being used to produce vegetable fertilizers. Textile fibers can also be obtained from the barrels. Today it is also used for ornamental purposes, sold in many nurseries in the versions of the most successful cultivars, also obtained from similar species. From the selection made on Lupinus albus, varieties have been produced that have seeds lacking in bitter alkaloids, from the prospects of food and industrial medicine more than interesting for the future.
The main constituents are: lupine, citric acid and some organic acids, resins, oils and small amounts of chemically-derived principles with hypoglycemic properties. The seeds also contain alkaloids similar to the sparteen group and are a source of iron, potassium phosphorus and B1, A and C vitamins, Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acids, thiamine and riboflavin.
Recent studies have shown that lupine plays a positive role in decreasing cholesterol levels, fighting obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Cholesterol-lowering activity (lowering LDL-cholesterol levels) has been confirmed in animal models. Despite these results, however, there are only a few and poor results on the mechanism of action and bioactive components. At present, the mechanism of action is being sought more thoroughly. Knowing that from various results the soybean has hypocholesterolemic activity and between lupine and soy protein there may be homology, it has been shown that mixtures of lupine peptides have hypocolesterolemic properties. These studies will continue to have excellent results in order to find a new supplement or drug in the treatment of hypercholesterolemia.
It has also been shown that a lupine protein (γ-conglutin) reduces blood glucose to similar levels of metformin, a drug used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
In fact, in the context of Healthy-Profood, a Polish study carried out thanks to the funding of the European Union, it was found that Lupine helps the heart lowering its cholesterol, blood glucose and blood pressure. It is also useful in combating excess sugar in the urine and for light diabetes, especially in infusion and as anti-meningitis against intestinal parasites.
Special attention must also be paid to the use of Lupine, as it can cause allergies in a small percentage of the population. This allergy can occur in people already hypersensitive to the arachid, thus having a cross reaction just for the sequence homology between the proteins.
Lupine can also be used for both zootechnical and human nutrition, as it produces a high amount of high quality biomass for moss, but is not usable for grazing, and because of the presence of alkaloids that make it bitter and therefore little Appetizing the plant, both for the possible presence of Phomopsis leptostromiformis, a fungus that attacks all its parts, which if ingested by animals, cause the so-called “lupinosis”. The grain used in animal husbandry has a good nutritional value, coupled with high digestibility of the proteins, making it usable in the feeding of pigs and poultry, with nutritional value similar to soybean.
The nutritional use of the bitter seeds, diffused in the Mediterranean region, means that they are “cured”, ie subjected to a long preparation to be deprived of bitter taste, which is obtained with multiple fluctuations in running water and salty water.
In the form of flour it is a natural emulsifier that improves the processing of the mixture, in particular pastes and bakery products, while the fiber richness allows for finer, fresh and fragrant products.
Lupins can also be consumed by celiac because they do not form gluten.
Dai Lupini also produces an edible oil, but almost exclusively used in soap processing and cosmetics industry. It is possible to obtain a textile fiber from the drums.
Among the curiosities, it is recalled that the seeds, already used as food by the ancient Greeks, were used during World War II as a substitute for coffee. Once, boiled lupins were sold as snacks in theaters. He sold them “Lupineous”, a craft practically disappeared today.
The Lupine is in symbiosis with the kind of Rhizobium bacteria. These are symbiotic diazotrophic bacteria, which can transform the atmospheric nitrogen into ammonia, making it so available for nourishment of the host plant.
Methods of Preparation –
In many regions of the Mediterranean, consumption of lupins belongs to a well-established food tradition. In Italy it is frequent, though not evenly distributed, from Tuscany down. The seeds, bitter because of different
Substances, are “cured”, that is, subjects, as said, to a long preparation to be “sweetened” or more properly private with bitter taste, which is obtained with multiple changes of fresh running water and salty water. Untreated seeds may contain, in addition to their bitter alkaloids, fungal toxins that are also dangerous.
So prepared are also seasoned with oil and salt, but the most frequent consumption is without seasoning, such as snacks; A challenge to enjoy time pleasantly, as with popcorn in the cinemas, many of which, especially in the South, were particularly used but less and less sold today. Lupine seeds are now sold properly pasteurized in vacuum pans with brine.
In some areas the seeds were also roasted and used as a coffee substitute.
In different epochs and places, racked and flourished, they were mixed with cereals for baking.
This latter use, taken in an industrial way, is becoming increasingly frequent, as more and more commonly used are other lupine-based foods (cheeses, spreading creams, flours, etc.).
If you find the dried lupins and you want to bake them you control the process and the ingredients is very easy even if long, especially to take away the bitter taste. Just put the lupines in the bath for about 7 days, until they get a little softened. If you can change water at least once a day. Then bake them in a pot and put some salt.
Let’s see some recipes with the use of lupins.
Lupine dumplings – Take your lupins, boiled or in brine, and reduce them to puree with the blender along with the mushrooms, then mix with stale bread, eggs, salt, pepper, milk and other ingredients thoroughly described by this recipe.
Mayonnaise of lupins – With lupines it is also possible to make a vegan mayonnaise at very low cost. 175 grams of peeled lupins, sunflower oil, oat milk (1/3 of a glass), juice of a lemon, sweet paprika and salt. All you need to do is go through a diving mixer. The result is, of course, a bit more porous than mayonnaise with eggs, but the result is just as good.
Lupine Hamburgers – An Alternative to Seitan Burger or Soybean Hamburgers? The lupine burgers. Sprinkle about 400 grams of shelled lupins in a pan with oil and onions. Once cooked and seasoned, smooth the lupins with stale bread or breadcrumbs and then add salt and pepper and if you want a little turmeric. Cook them in the oven, fry them or freeze them for any reason.
Lupine flour – Chickpea is a classic, but lupine can give you a lot of satisfaction. Just find the lupine flour, richer in protein than that of chickpeas. If you do not find it, try it at home by grinding dried lupins and then roasting in a frying pan. The process is more or less that of a flour, but if you want to make your special recipe add quinoa and almonds, turning the flour into a kind of super-protein finger or supercompany.
Lupine Humus – After the edamame hummus another variant of the Middle Eastern sauce is that with lupins. Put the lupins in hot water for about three hours (to eliminate excess salt). After the time has passed, rinse them and peel them one by one. Place them in a pan with water and boil for 5 minutes to soften them further. Drain them and put them in the chop with the juice of half a lemon, the shallot, pepper, a few spoons of extra virgin olive oil and smoothen until they become a soft cream. Taste and if you miss salt, add it and smooth it further. Transfer to a bowl decorated with paprika and sesame seeds. This hummus is great with toasted bread or with cut raw vegetables (carrots, peppers and fennel).
– Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
– Treben M., 2000. The Health of the Lord’s Pharmacy, Tips and Experiences with Medicinal Herbs, Ennsthaler Publisher
– Pignatti S., 1982. Flora d’Italia, Edagricole, Bologna.
– Conti F., Abbate G., Alessandrini A., Blasi C. (eds.), 2005. An annotated checklist of the Italian vascular flora, Palombi Editore.
Attention: Pharmaceutical applications and surgical uses are indicated for information purposes only; they do not represent any prescription of a medical type; Therefore, no responsibility for their use for any curative, aesthetic or food use is considered.