Food

Lupin and Allergenicity Frequently Asked Questions

What is lupin?

Lupin (also spelled lupine) is a legume belonging to the same plant family as peanuts. Lupin beans are a traditional food in Mediterranean cuisine. Lupin beans are eaten whole and also used to make ingredients such as lupin flour and lupin protein. These ingredients are often used in baked goods and pasta, including gluten-free products.

What should consumers know about lupin?

People who are allergic to peanuts may also react to lupin, a legume belonging to the same plant family as peanuts (also spelled lupine or lupini). These reactions can be severe and life-threatening.

If you’re allergic to peanuts, you should be aware of the potential for a reaction to lupin. Lupin can be eaten as a whole bean, but lupin flour is increasingly used in baked goods and pasta, especially gluten-free products.

To identify products that contain lupin, look for it by name in the ingredient list on the label.

Is there a risk from eating foods that contain lupin or lupin-derived ingredients?

For many people, foods containing lupin are safe to eat. However, some people, especially those allergic to peanuts, may have allergic reactions after eating lupin or foods containing ingredients from lupin (like lupin flour). Reactions can be severe and can include anaphylaxis.

Some people may have an allergic reaction to lupin even if they are not allergic to peanuts, but people with peanut allergies are most at risk.

Is lupin a new product?

Lupin is a common food in some cultures in Europe and Asia, where it is labeled on foods as an allergen, but is just now becoming more available in the United States, where consumers may not be aware of the potential allergenic risk.  Lupin flour and lupin protein are also increasingly used in gluten-free products, which many US consumers seek out.

How do I know whether food products contain lupin or lupin-derived ingredients?

To idenfity products that contain lupin, look for it by name in the ingredient list on the label.

The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act requires special allergen labeling for the eight major food allergens in the US. These are milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans. Although this kind of allergen labeling is not required for lupin and lupin-derived ingredients, they must still be declared by name in the list of ingredients on the food label.

What should I do if I think I am having a reaction to lupin?

If you believe that you are having an allergic reaction to lupin beans or ingredients made from lupin, stop eating the food and seek immediate medical care or advice.

FDA is actively monitoring complaints of allergic reactions to lupin in US consumers. You or your health care provider can help by reporting lupin-related adverse events to FDA in the following ways:

  • By phone at 240-402-2405
  • By email at CAERS@cfsan.fda.gov
  • By mail at: FDA, CAERS, HFS-700, 2A-012/CPK1, 5100 Paint Branch Parkway, College Park, MD 20740

Page Last Updated: 01/04/2018
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