Ground Cover North : Ground Cover 094 September-October 2011 - North
Value-adding SEPTEMBER -- OCTOBER 2011 GROUND COVER 28 KEY POINTS n A WA grower group has set up a lupin processing plant n De-hulled CoromupA lupins being processed into lupin flour n The lupin flour is sold as a high-value ingredient to food manufacturers n Research confirms the health benefits of lupin- based foods Growers take on lupin value-add challenge By Nicole Baxter n A grower group in Western Australia has set up a processing plant to value-add to their lupins by selling lupin flour as a premium, healthy ingredient for human foods. Over the past six years, Mingenew-based Irwin Valley Pty Ltd has built up relationships with food manufacturers in Australia, the US, New Zealand, Lebanon, Egypt, Dubai, Malaysia and India to lift demand for lupins. Irwin Valley chairman and Mingenew grain grower James Yewers says the company sources food-quality CoromupA lupins that are low in alkaloids and free of Phomopsis for processing into flour. The company pays a premium of $60 to $80 per tonne above the going lupin price to the growers whose grain has the lowest tested alkaloid level. Once a grain supply is sourced, it is either sold as seed for 'sprouting', sent for de-hulling at a nearby farm and then sold as kernel 'splits', or de-hulled and delivered to Mr Yewers, who mills the splits into lupin flour before packaging it for sale direct to consumers, retail outlets and food manufacturers. Mr Yewers says turning food-grade lupins into high-quality lupin flour has not been easy. The first hurdle was developing an efficient and effective milling process. Initially, whole lupins were milled, including the hull, but this created flour that was too coarse. Consequently, the lupins were de-hulled and time was spent refining the mill set-up to create a fine-micron, high-quality flour. Mr Yewers says the quality-assured mill on his property is unique because it can handle lupins with six to seven per cent oil (omega-3 and omega-6) without causing the flour to heat and become gluggy during processing. He says conventional mills such as those used to produce wheat flour cannot be used to process lupins because they tend to burn the oil in the lupin splits, causing sweet lupin flour to become rancid. "That's why lupins never went anywhere. Early milling studies carried out on lupins were done using a cereal mill," he says. Now the milling process has been refined, Mr Yewers is focusing the company's efforts on extolling the health benefits of lupins. He points to new research by Victoria University dietitian Dr Regina Belski and her colleagues from the University of WA (UWA), which has shown the risk of heart disease can be significantly reduced by using flour containing 40 per cent lupins in the place of conventional wholemeal flour. Over the course of a year, working with the Centre for Food and Genomic Medicine in Perth, Dr Belski and her colleagues monitored more than 100 overweight, but otherwise healthy, WA men and women to whom they provided everyday foods (bread, pasta and biscuits) made either with wholemeal flour or incorporating lupin flour. The researchers found that while people from the lupin group and the wholemeal group lost similar amounts of weight, the lupin group displayed more pronounced improvements in several heart disease risk factors. Dr Belski says consuming foods incorporating lupin flour can improve heart health, particularly for people who are overweight and at higher risk of heart disease. She says the study results suggest that lupin SNAPSHOT Shareholders: James and Marika Yewers Location: Mingenew, WA Farm size: 8093ha (owned); 2023ha (leased); 4856ha (cropped) Rainfall (long-term annual): 280mm; (2010 annual): 197mm Rainfall (2010 GSR): 197mm Soil types: gravelly loam Soil pH: 5.5 to 7.0 (calcium chloride) Typical crop rotation: lupin/wheat/ canola/wheat/barley Tractor: John Deere 9520 Sowing equipment: 18.29m (60ft) Ausplow DBS bar towing a John Deere 12,330L airseeder and a 3000L Burando Hill Flexi-N tanker Spraying equipment: Case SPX 4260 self-propelled machine Harvesting equipment: John Deere 9750 STS machine with 12.8m (42ft) Midwest draper front Spreading equipment: 8t Marshall Multi-spreader on a Fort Louisville truck Crops and varieties grown 2011: EGA Bonnie RockA, Carnamah, MaceA and WyalkatchemA wheat; DoolupA and HindmarshA feed barley; CobblerA canola; CoromupA lupins Plant CoromupA lupins early and avoid crop-topping A study commissioned by Irwin Valley suggests the use of a range of management practices may help to grow low-alkaloid lupins (0.02 per cent) for the human foods market. 1Use CoromupA lupins where possible. 2Plant as early as possible to avoid dry finishes and reduced grain filling from drought stress. 3Avoid crop-topping -- this treatment increased alkaloids over the human consumption limit. 4Avoid manganese sprays if possible, as these may increase alkaloid levels. 5Maintain 'adequate' to 'luxury' levels of potassium. Trials have shown potassium can reduce alkaloid levels. Mr Yewers says these are early guides and growers are finding they still have a lot to learn. In the past, dry seasonal finishes were thought to increase the alkaloid level significantly. But during 2010 (a dry finish), the alkaloid levels in lupins were the lowest seen. A group of growers in Western Australia has developed a processing plant to make lupin flour for direct sale to food manufacturers, supermarkets and consumers James Yewers with the lupin flour he produces in a mill at his property near Mingenew, WA. The raw lupin flour made by James Yewers at the Irwin Valley Flour Mill on his property. A chocolate slice made using half a cup of lupin flour.
Ground Cover 095 November-December 2011 - North
Ground Cover 093 July-August 2011 - North