Lupinus mutabilis is a species of lupin grown in the Andes for its edible bean. Vernacular names include tarwi, tarhui, chocho, altramuz, Andean lupin, South American lupin, or pearl lupin.
The bone-white seed contains more than 40% protein and 20% fat and has been
used as a food by Andean people since ancient times, especially in soups, stews, salads and by itself mixed with boiled maize. Like other legumes, its protein is rich in the essential amino acid lysine. It has a soft seed coat that makes for easy cooking.
It may have not been more widely used because it is bitter due to some alkaloid content. It contains unusually high, for lupins, amounts of sparteine, which make up nearly half its alkaloid content. However, the alkaloids are water-soluble and can be removed by soaking the seeds for some days in water.
Average protein content is 46% (varying between 41 and 51%) and average fat content is 20% (varying between 14 and 24%), which has allowed commercial oil pressing. The protein digestibility and nutritional value are reportedly similar to those in soybeans.
Plants for a Future
Lupins - geography, classification, genetic resources
'From the Andes: First Potato, Then Quinoa, Now Tarwi?'
'Tarwi' chapter, in _Lost Crops of the Incas_
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Lupinus mutabilis