Lupins are decorative plants that are resilient and widespread in many countries around the world. They can grow in arid, unfertilized soil, and their seeds are rich in vitamins and protein. Until now, they've been used mainly in livestock feed to replace imported soybean meal.
Europeans have long considered lupins inedible because of the toxic and bitter compounds they contain. Now, researchers have developed a way to separate these substances out and make the beans quite edible, even tasty as a meat substitute. It’s an advance that could help relieve hunger in many parts of the world. This is one reason the researchers have received the Deutscher Zukunftspreis - a German presidential award for innovation.