Common use of lupin proteins in processed foods despite potential toxicity to mammals - GreenMedInfo Summary
Evaluation of total quinolizidine alkaloids content in lupin flours, lupin-based ingredients, and foods.
Mol Nutr Food Res. 2008 Apr ;52(4):490-5. PMID: 18324702
Laboratory of Food Chemistry and Mass Spectrometry, Department of Agri-Food Molecular Sciences (DISMA), University of Milan, Milan, Italy. firstname.lastname@example.org
Lupin proteins are gaining attention to replace animal proteins and other plants ingredients in several foods such as bakery products, imitation dairy and meat products, and beverages. One of the major safety issues of lupin-based foods is the presence of quinolizidine alkaloids (QAs), bitter compounds produced by lupin plants as a defense mechanism against predators. In mammals, QA intoxication is characterized by trembling, shaking, excitation, and convulsion. Lupanine and sparteine, the most common QAs, show acute oral toxicity due to neurological effects leading to the loss of motor co-ordination and muscular control. In this paper, 27 samples of lupin-based products, i. e., flours, protein isolates, and food (either model or commercially available ones), were analyzed for evaluating the QA content using a method based on GC/MS. All the analyzed samples were safe since they respect the maximum limit of 200 mg/kg fixed by the Health Authorities of Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, and France, that have regulated this topic. The QA contents were particularly low in protein isolates and in foods containing these ingredients, indicating that their use is a very effective tool for keeping low the daily intake of QAs.