Wide Open Agriculture has cut the ribbon on a new pilot-scale facility designed to convert lupin into a plant-based protein developed with Curtin University.
The protein is derived from Australian Sweet Lupin which is typically used for animal feed stock and as a regenerative crop, though Wide Open Agriculture managing director Ben Cole says the plant has new potential in the food and beverage sector.
“Previous barriers for lupin to be used in the food sector relate to its taste, texture and its capacity for gelling and thickening,” Mr Cole explained.
“Our novel technology unfolds the constituent protein in lupin to increase its ability to blend and mix with other food ingredients.”
Agriculture Minister Alannah MacTiernan opened the lupin facility.
“Lupins have been really important to agronomy in Western Australia for decades,” Ms MacTiernan said.
“We want to rebuild the role they play in WA’s grainbelt - driving better soil health, reducing reliance on expensive synthetic fertilisers and helping us to diversify our grain products and markets.”
The company plans to capitalise on WA’s position as a large exporter of lupin to tap further into the growing plant-based protein market.
WOA has lined up food manufacturer Monde Nissin as an offtake partner, which will acquire up to 60 per cent of protein produced from the facility over two years, with first shipment expected in June 2022.
The protein is also set to be used in the company's own products under its Dirty Clean Food brand, including a high protein version of its existing product, OatUP.
The company has previously laid plans to build a commerical-scale oat milk facility in WA in a bid to further localise the product, which is made from oats grown in Williams.
Wide Open Agriculture shares were up 11 per cent to trade at 60 cents.