Lupin has the potential to be a multi-billion dollar industry for WA
So there’s not many things WA dominates the world in. Sure, we’re pretty good at digging stuff up, and… we’ve got great beaches!
But the commodity we dominate the world in? 60– 80% of the world's production each year? That actually regenerates soil by putting carbon and nitrogen back in?
And it could be a multi-billion dollar industry for WA.
In WA, we focus on mining and what it can offer. Growing lupins is like a mine in annuity that produces healthy food, less chemical use and healthier soil – meaning long term, more value added crops too.
Lupin is probably the most regenerative plant based protein on the planet, which is why we looked at it in the first place. But 96% of all lupin is fed to livestock – why?
Along with soy, lupin’s protein content is the highest of any pulse, at around 40% (which means big sheep!). Its low in fat, low GI, non-GMO, has a great balance of essential amino acids. AND… it tastes bitter, and mixes with other ingredients like… sand. Not ideal first choice ingredient attributes!
Wide Open Agriculture found this out the hard way. If you were “lucky” enough to try our lupin falafel a few years ago, you would have found out the hard way too… (Bucketload of tzatziki anyone?)
So when we heard of a research breakthrough at Curtin University by Iraqi PhD candidate Hayder Al-Ali, (with mentor Stuart Johnson) we were intrigued… Hayder unfolded the lupin protein, leaving it acting and tasting like… air. Precisely what you want.
But when we took on the licence in 2019, no one had ever tasted it. In December 2020 we did… and it was amazing! No taste, blended like a dream.
We blended it with our oat milk, made a sausage, mayonnaise, Udon noodles. All hit the three sweet spots of great food and drink – (i) delicious taste (ii) great mouthfeel and (iii) healing the planet.
We sourced our first raw lupins from regenerative farmer (and Wide Open Agriculture board member) Stuart McAlpine. And we've started to unfold them into functional lupin protein in our pilot production plant in Kewdale, which was officially opened by Hon. Alannah MacTiernan (Minister for Regional Development; Agriculture and Food; Hydrogen Industry) on 24 June.
Monde Nissin Australia, (think Nudie Juices, Black Swan dips, Peckish, Wattle Valley and Quorn) have signed an agreement to purchase approximately 60% of total production from our pilot production facility, over a two-year period
Our first commercial plant will convert about 10% of the crop to human food and produce it regeneratively - in itself, a huge impact. Ultimately we want to see the entire crop used for human consumption, and for it to expand.
Plant based protein is the fastest growing sector in the food market, and one of the key solutions to climate change. This could be worth at least $5Billion in revenue per annum. For perspective, that’s bigger than alumina, all base metals (Nickel, Copper, Lead and Zinc) Lithium, and Coal in WA.
Ultimately this could be the biggest thing WA has ever seen – because it goes on forever.
Anthony Maslin, Chairman, Wide Open Agriculture/Dirty Clean Food