The Andes Lupin (Lupinus mutabilis, tarwi) grows excellently in marginal lands due to it´s excellent foraging characteristics having the ability to fix nitrogen, mobilise soil phosphate and have low nutritional requirements for cultivation. For the increased biomass needed in Europe in coming years and decades we cannot rely on the most fertile lands, which is currently allocated to food production, we need to increase the yield from marginal lands. There the lupin varieties are preponderant, the one providing highest yield (up to 80 ton/ha) is Lupinus mutabilis. Varieties can be chosen for giving this high yield of green silage or high yield of seeds contain more than 20% oil, more than 40% protein and the remainder carbohydrates are mainly oligosaccharides characterized as “prebiotics”. Andes lupin can be grown as a summer crop in N-central Europe conditions and as winter crop in Mediterranean conditions.
Breeding and cropping research is performed in the LIBBIO project for maximizing the yield and value of lupin agriculture in different European marginal lands conditions, with respect to both the farmers and biorefineries. Pre-industrial processing is developed and optimized for the lupin, properties of the different fractions analysed, their advantage for different industrial use evaluated, and a few products developed as an example.
With respect to environmental impact the lupin is expected to be superior. It does not need much fertilizer, it enriches the soil with nitrogen and phosphate and is therefore expected to be excellent for crop rotation and soil regeneration. These properties will be evaluated further in the project along with techno-economic and agricultural viability and effect on farm and biorefinery income.