Lupin - another allergy!

In May 2017, lupin was added to the list of allergens that must be declared on all packaged food products. You will see that lupin will be declared in bold in the ingredients list, as well as in the summary statement when found in the food as an ingredient or component of ingredients.

What is lupin?

Lupin is a legume related to soybeans, peas and peanuts. It is high in both protein and fibre, and is gluten free. Mediterranean and Latin American diets consume pickled lupin beans as a traditional snack. Recently, lupin has become widely used in Australian food products, mostly as lupin flour and bran, and can be found in bread, baked products and pastas.

Lupin allergy

Like peanuts, lupin has the potential to trigger allergic reactions in some people and it has been estimated to affect about 1% of the general population; that's 1 in 100 people.

Those with a peanut allergy tend to have a higher susceptibility to Lupin, with estimates at ~5% of those allergic to peanuts also reacting to lupin.

Symptoms of food allergy

Symptoms can vary greatly between individuals and include:

  • Swelling of lips, eyes and face

  • Welts or hives

  • Tingling mouth

  • Abdominal pain and/or vomiting

Severe symptoms include:

  • Difficult breathing

  • Swelling tongue

  • Swelling and tightness in throat

  • Hoarse voice and difficulty talking

  • Wheeze or persistent cough

  • Dizziness or collapse

  • Pale and floppy

Those suspected to have an allergy to lupin should be seen by an allergy specialist.