Extracting an anti-diabetic from the humble lupin
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Extracting an anti-diabetic from the humble lupin

September 1, 2019

Diabetes, the world’s costliest disease. A
global pandemic afflicting more than 422-million people, most of whom suffer from Type-2 diabetes linked to lifestyle factors
such as diet. Gamma-conglutin, a naturally-occurring protein derived from
lupins, has been shown to have a glucose lowering action, potentially making it
effective against diabetes and pre-diabetes. However, extracting the protein and the purity and quantities required to make
it commercially attractive, hasn’t been technically viable or cost effective,
until now. A Curtin research team led by Dr Ranjeet Utikar has harnessed specific
chemical properties of gamma-conglutin to develop a unique and highly-efficient
extraction and purification process. The result is a pure, food grade product with
enormous potential as a supplement, functional food and nutra-ceutical. The
process also lends itself to scalable production, attracting the interest of
potential partners such as grower and processor, Coorow Seeds. In addition, farmers
who practice crop rotation for soil management, will appreciate the value-
adding to their otherwise low-value lupin plantings. Given the scale of
Type 2 diabetes as a health issue, with a cost estimated at six billion dollars in
Australia alone, this is an innovation with obvious potential.

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