Lupinus mutabilis is a valuable legume in the Andean region, both from a nutritional (protein 43.3%, fat 18.9%) and an economic (cash crop) perspective and hence a good choice to address poverty and malnutrition. However, this legume also contains toxic alkaloids that require removal prior to consumption, a process called debittering.
Novel processing technology for debittering
The current technologies for debittering are not sustainable (i.e. consuming too much water and/or generating chemical waste) or impractical (i.e. ineffective and/or time consuming). Therefore, a novel processing technology was developed, including the design, construction and testing of a hydro-agitation system, as well as the modelling and optimization of the process from both technological and consumers’ points of view. Additionally, information for decision making by plant managers was formulated (e.g. on relations regarding price-cost-quality-preferences, willingness-to-pay, resources needed, processing time). The research approach employed was based on social concepts, namely “science in society” and “food sovereignty”.