Scientific Name: – Lupinus
Lupinus, commonly known as lupin or lupine (North America), is a genus of flowering plants in the legume family, Fabaceae. The genus includes over 200 species, with centers of diversity in North and South America. Smaller centers occur in North Africa and the Mediterranean. Seeds of various species of lupins have been used as a food for over 3000 years around the Mediterrranean (Gladstones, 1970) and for as much as 6000 years in the Andean highlands (Uauy et al., 1995), but never have they been accorded the same status as soybeans or dry peas and other pulse crops. The pearl lupin of the Andean highlands of South America, Lupinus mutabilis, known locally as tarwi or chocho, was extensively cultivated, but there seems to have been no conscious genetic improvement other than to select for larger and water-permeable seeds. Users soaked the seed in running water to remove most of the bitter alkaloids and then cooked or toasted the seeds to make them edible (Hill, 1977; Aguilera and Truer, 1978), or else boiled and dried them to make kirku (Uauy et al., 1995). However, Spanish domination led to a change in the eating habits of the indigenous peoples, and only recently has interest in using lupins as a food been renewed (Hill, 1977).