19 March 2011

Lupine Allergy. A Danger for the Peanut Allergic traveling To Europe

Lupine allergy and peanut allergy- is there a link?
On my page "Where Is the Peanut Hiding?"   I list items that pose a hidden danger to people allergic to peanuts. A rather obscure food called Lupin is quickly becoming a more commonly used ingredient and food, especially in Europe and the Mediterranean region.  
(also Australia, USA, Canada, South America,)
WARNING- Unfortunately many peanut allergic individuals can have an allergic reaction to lupin.

What is Lupin?
Lupinus, commonly called lupine in the U.S. or lupin in Europe and Australia, is a common garden plant genus in the legume family, related to legumes such as peanuts,lentils,beans and peas. There are many different types of lupin. The majority of lupin is used for animal feed. "Sweet lupine" varieties are used in foods.

Some lupin varieties produce seeds which are used in foods.
Lupin seed are high in protein and have the full range of essential amino acids.

Lupin in Food
Lupin Flour 
In many mainland European countries, particularly Italy and France, lupin flour and /or peanut flour may be mixed with Wheat flour in baked goods and pasta. Common uses include bread, pizza, pasta, cookies, cereals, gluten-free products, biscuits, onion rings, tomato sauce, chicken bouillon cubes

Soy Alternative  
Lupin seeds are being recognized as a cheaper alternative to soy, becoming a more popular replacement for soy in recipes and other products. 

Fat Replacement in Food  

Lupine may be added to food as a fat replacement. (U.S. manufacturers will love this).  Researchers in Europe have found new uses for Lupin in low-fat products. 
Think low-fat sausage, low-fat ice cream, cream cheese and low-fat baked goods.

Lupini Beans
In the Mediterranean the yellow legume seed of lupins are called lupini beans.
Popular since Roman times, these beans are often soaked in brine and sold in jars like pickles. They are often eaten as a snack. Cento, an Italian manufacturer sells jars of Lupini Beans. You can find them right here in the United States.  Lupini Beans are very popular in Italy
- of course that is where we will be traveling with our peanut allergic son this summer. 
You can buy a paper cone of lupini beans from a street vendor in Rome.

Lupini Beans are popular as appetizers in many countries including Egypt, Syria. Called "altramuz" in Spain and Argentina and in Italy and Portugal called "tremoços"
Tremocos or Lupini Beans
Lebanon call "termos". Turkey and Egypt call "tirmis".
Tirmis sold by street vendor in Egypt
Lupini Beans are incorporated into foods served in restaurants in many countries.
They are used in Soups, Stews, Salads, and Entrees plus Hummus where lupine beans can replace chick peas.
Newly bred variants of "sweet lupins" are widely grown in Germany. The seeds are used in sausages, lupi-tofu and lupin flour. 

Gluten-Free Products
Although mostly unknown by American consumers, lupin is used in the U.S. in many gluten-free and high-protein products. It is not widely used in the U.K.

Lupin Fiber used in South America
Extracted from the grain shell of lupin and used in South American for cereal bars,sausages,bakery products, food supplements and extruded products

Lupin may cause an allergic reaction if you have a peanut allergy ranging from Hives to anaphylactic reactions.

We are traveling to Italy and France this summer. What should I do in order to protect my son? 
We do not know if he is allergic to lupin.  I feel I should have him tested, but "where o where" will I ever find the so far obscure lupini bean in the U.S. much less in Texas. Seriously!
I went into "protective parent" mode and did my research to find lupini beans locally.  I felt in had seen them somewhere....I had the picture of a jar in my head.
YES- success!  Central Market, to their surprise, carries them. I will hop in the car today to purchase them.
Food labeling rules in the EU require pre-packed food sold in the UK or the rest of the European Union (EU) to show clearly on the label if  a product contains lupin (or if one of its ingredients contains it). Lupin has been approved for use in bread flour in Europe since 1997.
Thus I think we will be able to avoid the danger of "packaged food" by reading the labels.

If Alexander proves to be allergic to lupin, the big problem for us will probably be restaurant food and their use of lupini beans or lupin containing foods such a bread and pasta.  Even tomato sauce can contain lupine flour. Ugh!

Plan of Action?
1) See if  our allergist can test our son for an allergy to lupine.
2) See if the jarred of lupini beans will work or if I have to source the raw beans.  I have read online about the difficulty in soaking and cooking these beans so I do hope I won't have to be "chef mom".
3) Order Select Wisely food allergy translation cards for use on our European holiday.

HELP -I have many Europeans who read this blog. I need your help. If you know of foods that contain lupine please tell me using the Comment box below.
Thank you so very much- Julie

Sources  http://www.lupins.org/lupins/
Food Standards Agency http://www.food.gov.uk/ , http://www.fraunhofer.de/en/press/research-news/2010-2011/13/low-fat-lupin-proteins.jsp, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/mnfr.200900365/abstract


kay said...

that was really interesting. thanks for sharing :)

Mario said...

Hi Julie,

Thanks for the article. Is there any protection from lupine/lupin that your son would have gained from his current peanut immunotherapy? Or are they different enough in nature that it's not necessarily the case?

JulieBeiersdorf said...

Hi Mario- Great Question.Do you live in the U.S. or overseas? People from 36 countries view this blog- thus far.
Regarding protection from lupin for Alexander due to his Peanut allergy immunotherapy treatment, I do not have a good answer for you. Dr. Wasserman is out of town at the AAAAI conference. I have sent him an email requesting allergic testing of my son for any sign of a lupin allergy. I am awaiting his reply. I will ask him your question.
"Stay tuned".
Thank you so much for reading my blog. I hope it is helpful to you.

jodpod said...

Hi julie, my son has a peanut and oat allergy for which we always carries epipens, over the last couple of weeks he has had very red cheeks and has been behaving very aggressively i started eliminating foods from his diet and noticed that some sweet waffles we had bought from aldi here contain lupin flour they are made by monarch foods. We are awaiting an appt at end of june with his consultant when he will hopefully br tested for lupin allergy. Jody

JulieBeiersdorf said...

Dear Jody,
I sent a reply to your comment via email but I see it did not post on the blog. Sorry!
Lupin flour is creeping its way into U.S. foods. LIke the waffles you found containing lupin it is used most often in baked goods.
I have not run into any foods containing it;however, I don't check labels for it. Since lupin is a legume and therefore related to peanuts there does seem to be an increased risk for those allergic to peanuts.
You are the first person located in the U.S. to report a possible reaction on my blog.
It is a helpful warning. 
I see that your appointment is the end of June. Please post your results. Lupin allergy is one of my most popular articles. There is a lot of interest in this subject especially from my international readers.
Everyone will be interested in the outcome of your son's testing.
Blessings- Julie

Marclle said...

Sounds like good info. Check this site maybe they can help with gluten free recipes and ingredients ....https://m.facebook.com/profile.php?nearby=1&id=363876617057381&__user=784555857&filter=0&v=timeline

Justcool uk said...

Lupin flour is in Asda smoky barbecue flavour triangles a crisp snack thing it is on the label and says the food is made in the uk

Blue said...

I live in the UK & have food allergies tho not peanuts, I am therefore an avid reader of food ingredient labels, and have thus far seen lupin only once, yesterday on a packet of cheap waffles, and googled to find out what lupin is. So a) thankyou for the useful post and b) you need have few worries about UK foodstuffs containing it

Sheri Munro Macneall said...

I am flying to England and either France or Netherlands with my son, who has an anaphylactic allergy to all nuts. Any tips? Thanks!

Jade Graham said...

I have read online about the difficulty in soaking and cooking these beans so I do hope I won't have to be "chef mom".

3) Order food allergy translation cards for use on our European holiday.
travel in europe