We buy ordinary, American-style white sandwich bread from a national supermarket chain. I just had a look at the ingredients and was surprised to see that, in addition to wheat flour, it contains lupin flour (Lupinenmehl in German):

Packaging for REWE Beste Wahl American Sandwich loaf, listing "Lupinenmehl" as one of the ingredients

I know that lupin seeds are edible when prepared properly, but what are they doing in ordinary white bread? I can't imagine that they're any cheaper than ordinary wheat flour. And this isn't some sort of fancy artisanal bread where the use of exotic grains is a selling point; it's just the regular store-brand sandwich bread. Does adding lupin flour in white wheat bread have a particular benefit in terms of taste, texture, preservation, etc.?

1 Answer 1


From a seller's product description1:

In der Backindustrie verwendet man Lupinenmehl als Zusatz zu Brotmischungen, da es das Brot aromatisiert, elastischer und länger haltbar macht.
(The baking industry uses lupin flour as additive in bread mixes because it makes the bread more aromatic, elastic and increases shelf life.)

Another description2:

Das Mehl kann in Brot, Kleingebäck und Teigwaren verarbeitet werden. Lupinen-Mehl bindet relativ viel Wasser.
(The flour can be used in bread, pastry and pasta. Lupin flour binds comparatively much water.)

So it boils down to lupine flour being used as a dough enhancer, the content in your example being 1.5% or less of the total bread weight suggests that it probably is not really "tasteable", but influences either the manufacturing process or the texture of the bread. If lupine flour is used to alter the protein / carbs ratio, up to 15% of the flour is replaced by lupine.

So my guess is that the manufacturer benefits by being able to incorporate a tad more water (which is sold, too) and possibly a bit less gluten formation, making the dough easier to handle and giving it the "fluffiness" that a German customer expects from what is labeled as "American Sandwich" bread.

  • 2
    They make tofu out of lupin flour, so it must behave somewhat similar to a legume flour .. and such are commonly used as egg replacers, which would agree with the use as an elasticity enhancer... Commented Jan 23, 2016 at 19:36
  • Correct. Lupine is sold as "European soy", so to speak. In this answer I was focusing on explicit baking applications, not on "lupine meat" etc.
    – Stephie
    Commented Jan 23, 2016 at 19:37
  • 1
    Lupins are edible? Bah, that makes this old Monty Python sketch slightly less funny. (skip to 4:25 if you're in a hurry)
    – Joe
    Commented Jan 23, 2016 at 23:48
  • 2
    @Joe your standard garden variety lupin contains toxic alkaloids and need special treatment before they can be used as food. The lupins discussed in the question are a special breed with little to no alkaloids.
    – Stephie
    Commented Jan 24, 2016 at 5:43

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