In May this year, the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code) was amended to add lupin to the list of allergens that must be declared on food labels.
Under Standard 1.2.3 (Information requirements – warning statements, advisory statements and declarations), lupin is required to be declared where it is present as an ingredient, compound ingredient, additive or processing aid.
The Code is silent, as it is for other allergens, on labelling for lupin due to unintentional presence, for example, from cross contact through the supply chain and manufacturing.


HOW LONG DO WE HAVE?
You have until 26 May 2018 to update product information
and declarations. All products, including existing ones out on shelves, will need to comply with the new labelling requirements for declaring lupin by 26 May 2018.

 

WHERE WILL I FIND LUPIN?
Lupin is one of Australia’s most important crops with Western Australia growing approximately 85 per cent of the world’s sweet lupin supply. Lupins act as a natural fertiliser, introducing nitrogen into the soil. They have traditionally been grown as a rotational crop with wheat and oilseed such as canola.

 

DIRECT INGREDIENTS
Lupins are a legume similar to chickpeas and lentils and are generally used in cereal-based products such as breads and bread mixes, muffins, mueslis and pasta.
Lupins contain approximately 40 per cent protein and can be used to produce protein isolates which have functional properties that can influence the structure and texture of foods and may be used in applications for bakery, milk, meat and pasta products.
Lupin presenting as an ingredient or protein isolate should be labelled to indicate the presence of lupin on a product data specification or Product Information Form (PIF)™.

 

CROSS CONTACT
In addition to lupin present in a food due to direct, intentional addition, lupins may also be present, even under conditions of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), due to cross contact with other materials. This could occur at any point along the food chain from primary production, ingredients and through the manufacturing process.
The potential presence of lupin via agricultural practices is an example of cross contact through agricultural co-mingling. It is important to understand that while lupins are grown as a rotational crop with wheat or canola, the size of a lupin bean is quite different to that of a wheat grain or canola seed. The cleaning processes that wheat and canola seed undergo prior to further processing are likely to remove the lupin bean. In addition, most lupins grown in Australia are grown in WA – important to consider when doing a risk assessment.
The Allergen Bureau has a FAQ on its website with information on labelling a product or commodity which is subject to agricultural co-mingling.

 

IMPORTED INGREDIENTS AND FOODS
Imported foods must comply with Australian standards, including the new lupin labelling requirements. Importers are responsible for compliance, and like manufacturers will need to take steps to ensure products that contain lupin or lupin products as an ingredient, additive or processing aid or due to cross contact with other materials or environment are appropriately labelled. It may be important to consider the possibility of co-mingling of lupin in internationally sourced grains.
Lupins are required to be labelled as an allergen in the EU so EU food producers should have information about the presence of lupin readily available for their products.

 

ANALYSIS FOR LUPINS – TO TEST OR NOT TO TEST?
There are a number of commercially available ELISA assays for the detection of lupin – and like all immunoassay based methods there are a number of factors to consider when choosing a method including processing impact on the product, sensitivity, specificity, robustness and repeatability. An important factor in lupin detection is the specificity of the assay. It is also important that the method can detect a broad range of Lupin species including Lupinus angustifolius (Australian sweet lupin) which is the crop most frequently grown in Australia. There are several lupin lateral flow assays available for Clean-in- Place (CIP) samples and environmental monitoring. When using lateral flow assays it is important to understand the instructions for the appropriate use of these devices.

Providing details, regarding the nature and origin of any samples, to your laboratory is critical to enabling the analyst to choose the correct kit. This should include the origin of any grains in the sample submitted and if any other legumes are present. In general, the best approach to the sampling of large volume agricultural raw materials to screen for potential cross contact is best done by taking multiple samples from the material, as distribution of any allergen from cross contact is unlikely to be homogenous, these samples should be analysed as individual samples and not analysed as a composite. Where analysis of finished product is considered, it should be done on the basis of robust risk assessment, with the sample number being reflective of the degree of risk.
The AFGC is working with Allergy &Anaphylaxis Australia (A & AA) and Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) to support the implementation of a National Allergy Strategy across all aspects of allergen awareness, management and treatment.

 

 

Lupin is included in PIF6.0 and has been added the ANZ legislation in VITAL® Online (the Reference Dose of lupin is 4 mg lupin protein).

For more information visit the Food Allergen Portal and the National Allergy Strategy websites. For help contact the AFGC, the Allergen Bureau, FSANZ and the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy.