Fraunhofer researchers have developed a non-dairy ice cream containing valuable lupin proteins. Photo: Fraunhofer IVV
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 debuted
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 offered 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, 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.”
Lupinesse is produced by Helados Alacant according to recipes devised by
Fraunhofer developers. Following the low-fat sausage also developed by IVV
experts, this non-dairy ice cream is the second Fraunhofer product brought to
market by EDEKA.