Lupins are set to move out of the stockfeed trough and into pantries, thanks to a new campaign that aims to raise awareness about their health virtues. Billed as the next big superfood, the protein packed, low fat, gluten-free ancient bean has virtually no starch. They have the potential to lower cholesterol levels, and improve glycaemic control and gut health. But few people know of these benefits, and the campaign is being launched with the aim of raising market awareness and demand for lupins as a food, providing better returns for WA lupin growers. The Grains and Legumes Nutrition Council will deliver the campaign, supported by funding from the McGowan Government and the Grain Industry Association of WA. An online information portal and a ‘lupins for human consumption’ digital media program will run throughout Australia for 12 months. WA Agriculture Minister Alannah MacTiernan said by raising awareness, there was an opportunity to value-add to farmers’ production and encourage more people to enjoy healthy lupin-based products. Raw Earth Produce co-owner David Rosenberg started processing lupins at his mill in Capel about six years ago. Now, he buys about 30 tonnes of lupins a year and on-sells the processed product to businesses like Coastal Crunch, which uses it to make granola and other products. A former farmer from Pingrup, Mr Rosenberg feels passionately about promoting the health benefits of lupins and putting more gluten-free options on the market. “We buy lupins and process them into flake and flour to sell to others, who make the products,” Mr Rosenberg said. “We focus on lupins because of the health benefits, and we thought there was a lot of benefit to people consuming the product. “It’s an industry we would like to see take off and there is no reason why it wouldn’t.” WA products already on the market include flours by the LupinCo, granola by Coastal Crunch, crisps by Pinarie and cake mixes by My Provincial Kitchen. Lupins are also popularity as a gluten free plant protein option, with Perth-based Wide Open Agriculture aiming to commercialise a burger type product. Coastal Crunch owner Tim Corrick buys processed lupins from Mr Rosenberg and turns them into food products at his base in Mt Hawthorn. About 90 per cent of Coastal Crunch’s products — which are all gluten free — incorporate lupins. Formerly a chef at Frasers Restaurant, he started the business three years ago and has found it has taken off as demand for gluten-free products soar. The items are stocked at several IGAs and Farmer Jacks stores, as well as The Boatshed, Peaches Food Market, and Herdsman. They are also used by more than 30 cafes in Perth. “The products are a good source of protein and an excellent source of dietary fibre, but it is just convenient that it is really good for you, as well as being made of lupins,” he said. “What we try to do is to create something that looks good, tastes good, and we can argue that our products are good for you as well.” WA farmers grew 580,000 tonnes of lupins last year — about 80 per cent of Australia’s total — but less than 10,000 tonnes was used for human food. Lupin crops play an important part in farmers’ crop rotations by fixing nitrogen into the soil.