Wide Open Ag unveils lupin-fibre product

Grain Central, April 8, 2024

Wide Open Agriculture CEO Matthew Skinner taste-tests high-protein sourdough and lupin cheese samples developed by the R&D team. Photo: Wide Open Agriculture

WESTERN Australian food and agriculture company Wide Open Agriculture has completed early development work on a lupin-fibre product which has been used to enrich bread as a proof of concept.

Lupin fibre is an alternative to traditional products in the dietary fibre market, which is currently projected to reach US$16.3 billion by 2032.

WOA CEO Michael Skinner said the lupin-fibre product has a unique composition which gives it properties of both insoluble and soluble fibre.

It also has high water and oil-binding capacities, contributing to improved viscosity, stability, and mouthfeel across a diverse range of products.

“We are thrilled to unveil our lupin fibre,” Mr Skinner said.

“This development marks a significant stride in the food industry, offering a sustainable, nutritionally superior, and versatile alternative to traditional fibres.

“We believe our lupin fibre will not only meet but exceed consumer expectations, reshaping the way we think about food ingredients and their impact on health and the environment.”

It is expected that the future commercialisation of WOA’s lupin fibre will increase the revenue and margin potential of the company’s production facility in Germany.

Lupin comprises 40 percent protein and 40pc fibre, with the fibre is an important co-product for delivering additional value to the project and improving the efficiency of the company’s operations.

The conversion of a manufacturing by-product into a high-value fibre ingredient has the benefit of reducing waste and improving the overall sustainability of the company’s production cycle.

Japanese expansion

Mr Skinner said this announcement comes during a busy period for the company.

In January, WOA announced that it had entered an exclusive sales and distribution agreement with Japanese company Nissei Kyoeki Co.

Founded in 1932, Nissei has a rich corporate history with more than 2000 clients and operations in more than 30 countries.

As part of the agreement, WOA and Nissei will collaborate to develop the market for lupin-based proteins in Japan.

Initially, WOA will supply Nissei with samples of the lupin ingredient Buntine Protein from its Kewdale facility for evaluation by Japanese customers.

WOA and Nissei expect successful trials may pave the way for the development and commercial release of various products incorporating Buntine Protein.

WOA has also recently secured exclusive sales partners in major markets, including the US, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands.

Saputo Dairy plans

The company is also continuing negotiations with Saputo Dairy in order to finalise plans for commercial production of Buntine Protein in Australia.

Former CEO Jay Albany said in January that the deal would give the company “the best chance of success for large-scale production in Australia”.

“The agreement outlines how WOA and our partner will work to produce large quantities (up to 5000 tonnes per annum in the first site) of lupin protein,” Mr Albany said.

“While negotiations continue for a contractually-binding, definitive agreement, our teams are enthusiastically and regularly working on a joint project plan.

“We believe we have a great partner here who provides a clear line of sight to very large production levels in our home market without the large capital overhang of building a greenfield production site.”

Source: Wide Open Agriculture


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