Animal feed resources information system

White lupin (Lupinus albus) seeds

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This datasheet is pending revision and updating; its contents are currently derived from FAO's Animal Feed Resources Information System (1991-2002) and from Bo Göhl's Tropical Feeds (1976-1982).


Click on the "Nutritional aspects" tab for recommendations for ruminants, pigs, poultry, rabbits, horses, fish and crustaceans
Common names 

Lupin, white lupin, Egyptian lupin [English]; lupin blanc [French]; weisse lupine [German]; lupino bianco [Italian]; altramuz blanco, chocho, chorcho,entremozo, lupino blanco [Spanish]; tremoceiro, tremoceiro branco, tremoceiro da Beira, tremoço [Portuguese]; الترمس الأبيض [Arabic]; Люпин белый [Russian]; 白羽扇豆 [Chinese]


Lupins (Lupinus spp.) are potential significant alternative to soybean: their seed protein content is high (up to 44%) and the quality of this protein  is good, lupins offer potential health benefits, and they contribute to the sustainability of cropping systems (Lucas et al., 2015). White lupin (Lupinus albus) is a multipurpose annual legume. It is grown in many countries as a source of fodder for livestock and for the food industry. White lupin is one of the 200 species belonging to the genus Lupinus and one of the 4 species cultivated on a larger scale as agricultural crops (Jansen, 2006). White lupins, yellow lupins (Lupinus luteus) and blue (narrow leaf) lupins (Lupinus angustifolius) are the main lupin crops in the world. White and yellow lupin seeds provide higher protein than blue lupin seeds, which may be of importance when lupins are used to feed animals (Soya UK, 2017).


White lupin (Lupinus albus) is an erect, bushy, annual legume that can reach 1.2 m high. White lupin has an indeterminate growing habit. It is many branched and deeply taprooted. The root can grow 70 cm deep into the soil layers. The stems are coarse, branched, slightly silky. The leaves are alternate, medium sized and digitally compound. They bear 5-9 leaflets. The leaflets are obovate (cuneate at the base and mucronate at the apex), 2-6 cm long x 0.5-2 cm broad, smooth on the upper face, hairy on the lower. The inflorescence is a terminal, 3-30 cm long, false raceme that bears many flowers. The flowers are pedicellated, typically papillonaceous, white to violet in colour. The corolla is 15-18 mm x 8-12 mm, the upper lip entire and the lower slightly 3-toothed. The pods are 3-6 seeded, narrowly oblong, laterally compressed, (6-) 9-15 cm long × 1-2 cm wide, yellow in colour. The seeds are large, flat, rectangular or square-shaped with rounded corners, laterally compressed and about 7-16 mm long × 6-12 mm wide × 2-5.5 mm high.The seeds are smooth and white with a salmon/pink tint or with dark brown speckles (Clark, 2014; El Bassam, 2010; Jansen, 2006). White lupin seeds, unlike seeds from other lupin species, do not shatter at maturity. White lupin seeds contain variable levels (0.01 to 4%) of bitter quinolizidine alkaloids and are thus classified into sweet or bitter seeds (Clark, 2014).


White lupin provides edible seeds, green manure and fodder (Jansen, 2006). The seeds of earlier varieties of white lupin can be cooked and eaten as a pulse after being soaked in order to remove toxic alkaloids. They can also be pickled and used for snacks. White lupin seeds are mainly consumed by low-income classes or during times of scarcity (Jansen, 2006). Seeds of modern varieties have a low alkaloid content (sweet lupin has less than 0.02% alkaloid) and can thus be used without previous treatment in high-value food specialties, mostly in bakery industry, to enrich pastas, cake mixtures, cereals, and other baked goods (Clark, 2014). Due to their good nutrient content (see Nutritional attributes on the "Nutritional aspects" tab), white lupin seeds may also be used to feed livestock and aquaculture species. The plant may also be grazed during late winter and early spring or cut for forage or silage. As a legume, white lupin plant is used for green manuring (in Southern Europe, it is traditionnally used in vineyards and olive plantations), and for soil improvement (Jansen, 2006; Duke, 1981). White lupin is also a good honey plant and an attractive annual ornamental (Jansen, 2006). It was recently reported to have a lowering effect on blood cholesterol in humans (Fontanari et al., 2012).


Lupins (Lupinus spp.) are broadly distributed throughout the world. There are two geographically separate groups: New World species and Old Word species, among which 4 are cultivated, one from the New World and the 3 others from the Old World. All of them are smooth-seeded. Lupins (Lupinus spp.) occupy almost all kinds of habitats from sea level to altitudes up to 4000 m (Wolko et al., 2010).

White lupin would have originated from South-Eastern Europe and Western Asia. It was already cultivated in Greece, Italy and Egypt and Cyprus 2000 years BCE (Terres Univia, 2017; Clark, 2014). Ancient Egypt was believed to be the place where white lupin was first cultivated. However, Greece would be more likely the place of domestication as larger biodiversity and a higher number of wild-growing forms exist in this country (Clark, 2014). Though an early cultivated species, plant breeding programs for the selection of sweet cultivars of white lupins seem to have started not earlier than 1930. First varieties of white lupin were used for ruminant feeding or for humans with prior soaking and cooking to remove bitterness (due to alkaloids) from the seeds (Terres Univia, 2017).

White lupin is a winter growing legume that can be found in the wild on disturbed and poor soils where competition from other species is reduced (Clark, 2014). When cultivated it can be suitable in places too poor for faba bean cultivation (Jansen, 2006). It is mainly cultivated in climate areas corresponding to Northern Europe, Russia, arid Australian plains and Andean Highlands of Chile. Spring types can be grown in the Northern Midwestern and in Northeastern United States of America (Clark, 2014). It is occasionnally grown in Africa, in Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Mauritius (Jansen, 2006).

White lupin can grow from sea level up to an altitude of 740 m (Ecocrop, 2017). In Ethiopia, it is cultivated between 1500 and 3000 m altitude (Jansen, 2006). White lupin does better in places where average monthly temperatures during the growing season range from 18°C to 24°C and where rainfall is about 400-1000 mm during the same period. White lupin is tolerant of frost but temperatures of -6°C to -8°C during germination and -3° to -5°C at flowering stage are deleterious to the crop. Moisture deficiency is also harmful during the reproductive period (Jansen, 2006). White lupin does well on moderately fertile, well-drained, light or medium textured and mildly acidic or mildly calcareous soils with a pH ranging from 4.5 to 6.5 (-7.5) (Clark, 2014; Jansen, 2006). On the contrary, white lupin does not well on heavy clay, waterlogged and alkaline soils (Clark, 2014). However, some cultivars have more tolerance of heavy soils and do better on saline soils than other crops (Clark, 2014). Under conditions where P is limiting, lupins form specialized cluster root structures and/or release P-mobilizing carboxylates that free P from insoluble forms (Lambers et al., 2012).

Statistics about lupin production are nesting all types of lupins. Worldwide lupin (Lupinus spp.) production in 2014 was about 1 million tons. Main lupin producer (625,000 tons) is Australia which is known to produce mainly blue lupin. However, in 2000, Australia was reported to produce 100,000 tons of white lupins (Petterson, 2000). Other important lupin producers are Poland, Russia, Germany, Belarus, and Ukraine, totalizing 290,000 tons, of which most lupins are yellow lupins (Terres Univia, 2017). The remaining production is due to France and Mediterranean countries like Italia, Spain, Greece and Egypt. This production is about 25,000 tons and is likely to be mainly white lupin (FAO, 2017).

Forage management 


White lupin seed average world yields range from 0.5 to 4 tons/ha (Jansen, 2006). In France, winter lupin were reported to yield about 4.5-5.0 tons/ha and summer lupin about 3.5-4.0 tons/ha (Arvalis, 2014).

Crop management

White lupin seeds intended for sowing should be tested for anthracnose infection and inoculated with the adequate rhizobium (Rhizobium lupini) if the crop has not been cultivated in the stand previously. Sowing rates seem to be variable, depending on climatic conditions and soils. Lupin type (winter or spring) should also be taken into account. In France, winter lupin recommended sowing rates are between 20 and 30 seeds/m² while in the UK, a higher rate of 50 seeds/m² is advised (Arvalis, 2014; PGRO, 2014). The seeds should be drilled 30-40 mm deep (no deeper than 50 mm) in a good tilth and moist seedbed in non compacting soil (PGRO, 2014). In Ethiopia, farmers usually broadcast the seeds of white lupin at 34-40 seeds/m² in July or September (Likawent Yeheyis et al., 2010). 

Though it is mainly sown as a sole crop, white lupin can be grown in association with other crops (Arvalis, 2014; PGRO, 2014; Likawent Yeheyis et al., 2010). In Europe, in organic systems white lupin can be cultivated in mixture with oats, barley and triticale which helped controlling weeds and could yield 2.3 ton grains/ha (Milleville, 2014). In Ethiopia, white lupin can be cultivated in mixed stands with niger (Guizotia abyssinica), finger millet (Eleusine coracana), potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) or maize (Zea mays) (Likawent Yeheyis et al., 2010).

White lupin is a slow growing legume which needs 11 months to become mature and to be harvested. Winter white lupin should be sown as soon as possible at the end of summer to promote sufficient growth and gain enough cold-resistance before winter (Arvalis, 2014). In France, spring lupins should be sown on warm, moist seedbed for better development at higher seed rates (45-60 seeds/m²), with smaller distance between rows than for winter types (Arvalis, 2014; PGRO, 2014).

White lupins are higly susceptible to anthracnose (Colletotrichum gloeosporioides or C. acutatum), a common seed-borne disease in countries with humid summers. Anthracnose spreads rapidly by wind, rain, soil-borne spores, clothing and equipment. It can cause almost total crop loss when the infection is severe and left untreated. However, anthracnose is easy to detect and can be effectively controlled with fungicide applications (PGRO, 2014).

In Europe, lupin harvest is done in the first half of September for winter lupins and in the second half of September for spring lupins (Métivier et al., 2013).


Harvest should begin once seed moisture content is 14% and when air moisture is high to prevent pod drops or seeds shattering (e. g. early morning or at night) and to maximise grain quality (OGTR, 2013).

Once harvested, lupin seeds can be either stored dried or ensiled.

Another way to preserve lupin is to crimp the seed and ensile it on the day of harvest (Strzelecki, 2015). This process allows early harvest (at high moisture content) and provides good preservation of homegrown seeds (Kemira, 2010). Crimping is adapted to the production of home-grown feed (Strzelecki, 2015; Kemira, 2010).

Environmental impact 

N-fixing legume and sustainable P management

Romans used to grow lupins (Lupinus spp.) as a green manuring crop for improving soils (Burtt, 1981).

Lupins are N-fixing legumes that are reported to fix 300-400 kg N/ha, in Europe and Australia (Jansen, 2006). Lupins can provide benefit to the following crop (PGRO, 2014). In organic crops, lupins were demonstrated to result in a 0.5 t/ha response in rye grown following yellow lupins, compared to following spring beans (PGRO, 2014).

Lupins are valuable legumes for sustainable P management: in soils depleted in available P, lupin plants form specialized cluster root structures and/or release P-mobilizing carboxylates that free it from insoluble forms (Lambers et al., 2012).

Soil improver and phytoremediation

Because of their deep taproot lupin plants improve soil texture and drainage. White lupins can be used after a summer metal-accumulating plant used for phytoremediation. Lupins may extend the phytoremediation period and increase the bioavailability of metals in polluted soil under recovery (Fumagalli et al., 2014).

Nutritional aspects
Nutritional attributes 

All three lupin species, white, blue and yellow, have a similar chemical composition. The seeds make a valuable protein-rich concentrate that can be used safely in balanced mixtures for all stock. Seeds from the blue variety are generally less palatable than those from the yellow variety.

Potential constraints 


The bitter earlier varieties of lupins (Lupinus spp.) contained a toxic alkaloid and were not recommended for animal feeding unless the alkaloid was removed by soaking in water. The newly obtained sweet (alkaloid-free) varieties, which can be distinguished by taste and smaller growth, are palatable to stock. The alkaloid content of sweet white lupins vary dramatically worldwide and the range is as broad as 120 to 30,000 mg/kg DM. The alkaloid content was reported to raise concern in piglets over a dietary content of 20 mg/kg in Australia and over 120 mg/kg in Poland (Godfrey et al., 1985; Buraczewska et al., 1993).


Lupinosis outbreaks are susceptible to occur in sheep and cattle when white lupin was fed as dried forage. Lupinosis is due to phomopsins, a class of toxins produced by fungal infestation of lupin plants by Diaporthe toxica (Jansen, 2006). These toxins cause severe damage to the liver, resulting in loss of appetite, lethargy, jaundice and often death. Sheep are more sensitive to lupinosis than cattle. Lupinosis can be prevented by using Diaporthe toxica-resistant cultivars of white lupines or by limiting lupine intake by livestock (Clark, 2014; Jansen, 2006). Diaporthe toxica infestations have been reported in 12% of white lupin samples (out of 171) in Australia (Cowley et al., 2010).


White lupine seeds contain from 7 to 14% α-galactosides, of which the most important is stachyose (2.8%), followed by saccharose (1.8%) raffinose (0.4%), and verbascose (0.3%) (Zdunczyk et al., 1996; Saini, 1989). The level of oligosaccharides may depend on the variety but also on the conditions of cultivation and harvest (Pisarikova et al., 2009). α-galactosides may have deleterious effects on animal health (causing flatulence), feed intake and growth performance (Cherrière et al., 2003).


Because of their thick juicy stems lupin plants are not suitable for haymaking, but they can be used as fresh forage or ensiled with maize or other cereals. For sheep and cattle lupin seeds can be the sole concentrated protein feed.


White lupin (Lupinus albus) is generally not included in pig diets above 15-20% of the diet. The main constraint for white lupin seed is its depressing effect on feed intake and growth at higher dietary level (Froidmont et al., 2006; van Barneveld, 1999; Edwards et al., 1998; Donovan et al., 1993; Kelly et al., 1990). White lupin seeds are of high energy value for pigs as they have a high content of highly digestible lipids and carbohydrates (Aguilera et al., 1985). Though considered a good energy source, white lupin seeds contain high amounts of starch, soluble and non soluble polysaccharides (NSP) and oligosaccharides. These substances could have deleterious effects on digestible energy and on animal health as they are readily fermented in the large intestine (van Barneveld, 1999).

Lupin inclusion in pig diets does not change DE but overestimates the Net Energy (NE) value because there is a decrease of digestibility at the end of the intestine. It has been recommended to measure the NE value of lupin in growing pigs in order to optimize ration efficiency (van Barneveld, 1999). In white lupin seeds, lysine availability is low, ranging from 44% to 57%, L. albus ranged from 37% to 65% and from 44% to 57%. However, this low availability of lysine for pigs is not accompanied by low ileal digestibility of amino acids in lupins (van Leeuwen et al., 1993; Wasilewko et al., 1993; Gdala et al., 1996).

Early results showed that barley-based diets containing 27-30% white lupin seeds had good fibre digestiblity (60%) and that white lupin crude fibre was more digestible than that of soybean meal (Aguilera et al., 1985; Florence, 1965; Farries et al., 1968 cited by Aguilera et al., 1985). It was also shown that the addition of 30% white lupin seeds in barley-based diets increased pigs tolerance to high fibre basal diets (Aguilera et al., 1985; Barnett et al., 1981).

White lupin seeds may also contain small amounts of deleterious alkaloids that hamper pig health. No more than 0.012% of alkaloids from white lupin seeds could be tolerated in pig diets (Buraczewska et al., 1993).

Raw lupin seeds


The recommended inclusion level of white lupin seeds in piglet diets varies from place to place. In Portugal, white lupin seeds were included at 30% of the diet of weaned piglets (28 day-old) during 11 days without negative effect on body weight gain or feed conversion ratio. However, their lipase and trypsin activity was significantly reduced, by 45% for trypsin activity (Pereira et al., 2005). In France, white lupin seeds were recommended at only 10% for weaned piglets over 12 kg (Royer et al., 2005). When compared to other lupin species such as yellow lupin or blue lupin, it was reported that white lupin had lower DM and CP digestibilities in young pigs (Gdala et al., 1996).

Growing and fattening pigs

A growing pig diet containing 20% lupin seeds was compared to a 15% soybean meal-based diet. It was reported that N retention was lower than in soybean meal-based diet, and growth rate also decreased when animals were fed on lupin seeds. The fattening period was thus longer with a lower average daily gain (Froidmont et al., 2006). This result is in agreement with former observation with fattening pigs (34-110 kg BW) where animals were reported to have decreased feed intake and DWG when lupin was included at 20% (Zettl et al., 1995). With partial replacement (50%) of soybean meal by whole lupin seeds, it was observed that lupin diets had higher crude protein, ether extract, crude fibre and cellulose digestibility in growing pigs. This was not true when soybean meal was completely replaced by raw lupin seeds (Pisarikova et al., 2009). Inclusion of 20% lupin seeds resulted in inferior back fat consistency, and it was thus suggested to limit white lupin seeds inclusion to 10% (Zettl et al., 1995).


In sows, the use of lupins is easier because sows are able to ferment lupin seeds and thus get more energy from them. In sows, lupin seed hulls also have much higher energy than in growing pigs (Noblet, 1997). However, it was recommended to include lupin at levels below 20% of the diet since they may result in high levels of gas production and could compromise sow health (van Barneveld, 1999).

Dehulled lupin seeds

It has been suggested that white lupin kernels could have higher NSP content than lupin hulls, a reason why dehulled lupin seeds were not readily consumed by growing pigs and did not result in satisfactory animal performance (Ferguson et al., 2003). With partial replacement (50%) of soybean meal by dehulled lupin seeds, it was observed that lupin diets had higher crude protein, ether extract, crude fibre and cellulose digestibility in growing pigs. These results were still obtained for total replacement of soybean meal, but only in case of dehulled lupin seeds (Pisarikova et al., 2009).

Extruded lupin seeds

Extrusion of lupin seeds had no effect on feed intake, ADG or feed conversion ratio for 28 day-old weaned piglets fed on soybean meal based diet and 17% white lupin seeds (Prandini et al., 2005).

Enzyme or chemically treated lupin seeds

A meal of white lupin seeds treated with phosphoric acid and hot water was included in Hungarian fattening pigs at 6% of the diet in order to partially replace soybean meal or meat meal. White lupin seeds inclusion increased weight gain and carcass quality (Herold et al., 1991). In an attempt to improve white lupin seed feeding value, α-galactosidase was added, either in association or not with a mixture of cellulase and hemicellulase, to weaned piglets. No effect on CP ileal digestibility or amino acid digestiblity could be observed but NDF ileal digestiblity increased when α-galactosidase was associated to cellulase and hemicellulase (Pires et al., 2007).

Lupin seeds hulls

Metabolizable energy value of lupin seeds hulls was reported to be as high as 14 MJ/kg in sows and 7 MJ/kg in growing pigs (Noblet, 1997).

Nutritional value and suitability of lupine for poultry feeding vary greatly according to the variety: sweet or bitter lupins, yellow, blue or white lupins, composition, technological treatments, etc. (Jeroch et al., 2016). The interest of lupins for poultry feeding must be discussed according to their ME value and amino acid balance and to their antinutritional factors content (alkaloid, sugars). Protein content, amino acid content, fatty acid content of lupins suggest that they are valuable raw materials for poultry feeding, but they are rarely used since they are poorly available for feed manufacturers or poultry producers.

According to the variety, their ME value can reach up to (XX) due to a high fat concentration (XX). The mean protein content is close to 40% DM, but large variations are observed. For example the protein content of Lupinus luteus varieties is higher than that observed in angustifolius or albus ones (Sujak et al., 2006). The amino acid profile is also different according to the family or cultivar.

In order to improve nutritional value of lupins, seeds can be dehulled before giving them to the birds. After dehulling the NSP content is reduced, the ME value is improved, and in some cases the amino acid digestibility is also improved (Brenes et al., 1993; Nalle et al., 2010).

Some attempts have also been made to reduce the effects of antinutritional factors (ANF). In modern varieties of sweet lupins, the alkaloid content has been reduced and there are only traces of those compounds. The main ANF which limit the use of white lupin in poultry diets are actually oligosaccharides. High levels of oligosaccharides (α-galactosides) are known to impair digestive processes, resulting in increased digesta viscosity, reduced digestibility, sticky droppings, and consequently reduced performance.

α-galactosides are not digested in the upper part of the gastro intestinal tract of the birds, they are only fermented in the caeca and produce short-chain fatty acids, poorly used in poultry. Attempts have been made to reduce those negative effects by adding exogenous carbohydrases. Only weak improvements were observed. Extrusion did not prove to have improving effects on lupine feeding value in poultry (Diaz et al., 2006). Unlike what has been shown for other grain legumes (peas and faba beans), there are no report of improvements obtained through other processing operations such as pelleting (Diaz et al., 2006).


Experimental recommendations for lupin use were reported to be as high as 30-40% in balanced broiler diets (Uzu, 1983). However, such levels are not possible when using least cost feed formulation and when taking into account the negative effect of sugars.

Recommended levels of lupins in broiler diets vary greatly, and may depend on the variety (alkaloid, sugar content, etc.).

In Europe, up to 25% white lupin could be included in broiler diets (Brenes et al., 1993; Castanon et al., 1990; Bekric et al., 1990). If supplementary methionine was provided, inclusion rate could reach 40% (Watkins et al., 1988; Buraczewska et al., 1993).

Maximum recommended levels should be 5% in starter diet and up to 15-20% after (Jeroch et al., 2016; Diaz et al., 2006; Farrell et al., 1999; Olver, 1997). Similar levels could be used in turkey diets (Halvorson et al., 1983). 

Laying hens

In laying hens up to 30% white lupin seeds could be included in combination with methionine (Prinsloo et al., 1992).

In laying hens, levels up to 30% did not reduce performance while yolk colour and poly-unsaturated fatty acids profiles were improved (Krawczyk et al., 2015).


Pekin ducklings could receive 40% white lupin seed meal without deleterious effect on their growth, feed conversion or carcass quality (Petterson, 2000).


White lupin seeds

As for the whole plant, the Lupinus albus seeds (beans) are recommended for rabbit feeding since a long time (Benoit et al., 1948). The common recommended level of incorporation in balanced diets for growing rabbits varies from 10 to 20% according to the experiments for growing rabbits (Battaglini et al., 1991; Mesini, 1997; Sarhan, 1999; Seroux, 1984; Volek et al., 2008; Volek et al., 2009). But it should be noticed that higher incorporation levels such as 40% or 50% were experimentally used without alteration of growth performance (Fekete et al., 1986; Kelly et al., 1990). White lupin seeds could also be used successfully in the diet of lactating rabbit does. Compared to a soybean-sunflower meal control diet, a diet with 25% white lupin seeds increases the 1-31 d. milk production of the rabbit does by 11%, most probably in relation with the higher lipids content of the lupin diet: 4.1% vs. 2.3% (Volek et al., 2014). Despite the variations of seed composition of the different cultivated varieties of Lupinus albus, their is no intrinsic great difference in nutritive value between cultivars, since no difference between varieties in rabbit growth performance was observed in a comparison of 6 white lupin seeds cultivars made in France (Lebas, 1986).

For other species such as poultry and particularly pigs, the presence of alkaloid and some other antinutritional factors in lupin seeds makes a pre-treatment (washing, heating...) or the addition of enzymes very useful for the optimization of their utilisation in animal feeding (Cheeke et al., 1989; Brenes et al., 1993). On the contrary, rabbit is poorly sensitive to lupin's alkaloids (Cheeke et al., 1989), and seeds washing or the addition of an enzymes cocktail failed to improve the white lupin nutritive value for growing rabbits (Falcao-e-Cunha et al., 2008). Nevertheless extrusion of imported Australian white lupin seeds (16% of the diet) improved rabbit's growth rate by 10% above the control diet without lupin in an Italian study (Battaglini et al., 1991).

In practical conditions, white lupin seeds could be considered as an interesting source of proteins (~35% DM) with a high level of digestible energy: 13.5 to 16.0 MJ/kg DM (Fekete et al., 1986; Lebas, 1986; Maertens et al., 2002). The high level of energy is the consequence of the relatively low level of fibre, NDF 17.5% of DM, and more, of the high content of lipids, 9-10% DM, despite the very low starch content (Petterson, 2000). These lipids are relatively rich in alpha-linolenic acid C18:3, that represents 9-10% of total fatty acids (Chiofalo et al., 2012). This is able to improve the quality of rabbit meat for human consumption through a better omega 6 to omega 3 ratio (Volek et al., 2011), and can also explain partly the improvement of the sanitary situation of rabbits during production observed with white lupin seeds when compared to soybean meal (Colin et al., 2012; Uhlířová et al., 2016). However, the proteins of white lupin seed are not very rich in lysine for proteins of a legume seed (~ 4.9g /16 g N), just covering the growing rabbit needs. But as for other leguminous seeds, the proteins of white lupin seeds are strongly deficient in sulphur-containing amino acids, covering only 65% of rabbit needs (Lebas, 2013), a situation which makes necessary the complementation of this source of proteins with other raw materials such as cereals or cereal byproducts (wheat bran...), or with synthetic methionine.

Whole plant Forage

Lupinus albus whole plant is a forage know in Europe to be useful in rabbit feeding since a long time. Used as only feed, its nutritive value was estimated similar to that of green alfalfa (Brüggemann, 1939 cited by Voris et al., 1940). Effectively dried lupin forage used as the main source of fibre in a rabbit diet induced growth rate and feed efficiency similarly or even better than alfalfa meal used in the same conditions (Harries et al., 1999).

Green lupin used as forage distributed ad libitum may replace 20% of a concentrate complete feed without alteration of growth rate of fattening rabbits But if the daily allowance of concentrate represents only 60% of the spontaneous intake of the ad libitum control, the spontaneous intake of the additional green lupin forage is not sufficient to permit the same growth rate (El-Gendy, 1999). 

White lupin hulls

Lupin seed external coat, generally named hulls after removal, represents 22% of the whole grain (Petterson, 2000). In a study were in the diet 10% wheat bran were replaced by 5% white lupin hulls + 5% barley, rabbits showed normal figures for growth rate (52.4 g/d on average), feed intake (155.1 g/d on average) and feed conversion ratio (2.97 on average). For the 2 diets, digestibility coefficients were similar for energy, crude proteins or NDF. As a consequence white lupin hulls could be considered as a suitable source of fibre for rabbits with 86.9% NDF and 7.2% ADL, but with a very low content of proteins i.e about 4.5%, as for cereal straw (Volek et al., 2013).



Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

White lupin represents a clear opportunity to supply the demand for plant protein sources in aquaculture. Recommended inclusion levels are very variable, ranging from 20% to 50% (Hernández et al., 2016; Borquez et al., 2011; Bangoula et al., 1993). White lupin seeds were included in rainbow trout (5 g BW) diets at 25% of the DM to replace fishmeal and were reported to be a better protein source than soybean meal for the formulation of low-phosphorus loading diets, without affecting feed acceptability and growth performance of rainbow trouts (Hernández et al., 2016).

Rainbow trouts (75 g or 50 g) were fed on diets containing 20% or 30% crude or extruded white lupin seeds during 2 weeks. It was shown that the apparent digestibility coefficients (ADC) of the diets were reduced as the level of lupin increased (Bangoula et al., 1993). Up to 20%, it was reported that white lupin seeds could be included in commercial extruded diets without modifying dietary ADCs, feed intake or animal performance (Bórquez et al., 2011).

In a longer experiment (83 days), it was shown that crude white lupin included at 20% resulted in deleterious effects on trouts, and some mortality occurred (Bangoula et al., 1993). On the contrary, trouts fed on extruded white lupin seeds had higher growth rate, feed intake, and feed conversion ratio which indicated that antinutritional factors were reduced through the extrusion process (Bangoula et al., 1993).

It was possible to feed rainbow trouts (54 g BW) during 11 weeks on diets containing up to 50% white lupin seeds without deleterious effects (Borquez et al., 2011). No significant effects on growth, feed utilization, apparent digestibility coefficients or whole-body composition were detected. However, increasing levels of dietary lupin led to histological changes in the digestive tract (slight lipid infiltration into hepatocytes and enterocytes) and in muscle fatty acid profile (Borquez et al., 2011).

Feeding rainbow trout juveniles on 35% white lupin seeds as fishmeal replacer had no deleterious effect on the expression of immunological genes (Hernandez et al., 2013).

Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.)

The inclusion of Tasmanian white lupin seeds (Lupinus albus cv. Luxor) in young Atlantic salmons (90 g BW) diet deteriorated growth rate and feed efficiency significantly when compared to the control diet based on fish meal (Salini et al., 2014).


Barramundi (Lates calcarifer)

White lupin seed meals from 3 different cultivars were included in tropical fish barramundi diets at 30% for a digestibility trial, in order to know if white lupin seeds could be used to replace fishmeal. The meals had higher CP digestibility than the control diet. Both dry matter and energy digestibilities were superior to other lupin species such as blue lupin. White lupin seeds were considered a suitable source of protein for carnivorous tropical barramundi (Tabrett et al., 2012).

Nutritional tables

Avg: average or predicted value; SD: standard deviation; Min: minimum value; Max: maximum value; Nb: number of values (samples) used

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This datasheet is pending revision and updating; its contents are currently derived from FAO's Animal Feed Resources Information System (1991-2002) and from Bo Göhl's Tropical Feeds (1976-1982).

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Dry matter % as fed 20.2 21.6 11.1 92.0 13
Crude protein % DM 21.5 2.9 18.3 27.9 13
Crude fibre % DM 23.5 3.4 17.1 28.1 12
NDF % DM 31.1 1
ADF % DM 25.6 1
Lignin % DM 4.1 1
Ether extract % DM 3.1 2.6 3.6 2
Ash % DM 8.0 2.7 6.3 13.9 12
Total sugars % DM 16.3 1
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 18.9 *
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Calcium g/kg DM 12.7 12.6 12.8 2
Phosphorus g/kg DM 2.6 2.5 2.7 2
Potassium g/kg DM 26.1 1
Sodium g/kg DM 3.6 1
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
OM digestibility, Ruminant % 71.7 2.3 71.7 82.0 10 *
Energy digestibility, ruminants % 68.6 2.2 68.6 79.0 10 *
DE ruminants MJ/kg DM 13.0 *
ME ruminants MJ/kg DM 10.3 *
Nitrogen digestibility, ruminants % 84.3 2.0 81.6 86.6 10

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.


Bhannasiri, 1970; Haugen et al., 1992; Holm, 1971; Mbugua et al., 2008

Last updated on 24/10/2012 00:44:29

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Crude protein % DM 5.9 1
Crude fibre % DM 55.3 1
NDF % DM 82.4 1
ADF % DM 63.8 1
Lignin % DM 12.6 1
Ash % DM 4.1 1
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Calcium g/kg DM 4.3 1
Phosphorus g/kg DM 1.0 1
Magnesium g/kg DM 1.8 1
Manganese mg/kg DM 123 1
Zinc mg/kg DM 10 1
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
OM digestibility, Ruminant % 46.3 *
ME ruminants MJ/kg DM 5.8 1
Pig nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Energy digestibility, growing pig % 3.3 *

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.


Abreu et al., 1998

Last updated on 24/10/2012 00:44:30

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Dry matter % as fed 90.2 1.2 87.7 92.4 55
Crude protein % DM 33.8 1.9 29.8 37.7 71
Crude fibre % DM 16.1 1.6 13.1 20.0 54
NDF % DM 25.6 2.6 20.3 30.6 18
ADF % DM 20.9 2.0 17.9 24.5 17
Lignin % DM 1.5 0.8 0.3 3.5 14
Ether extract % DM 6.1 0.6 4.7 7.2 59
Ash % DM 3.5 0.4 2.9 4.3 57
Starch (polarimetry) % DM 4.7 5.3 0.2 14.9 31
Total sugars % DM 5.8 1.5 4.5 8.8 8
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 20.3 0.4 19.5 20.8 18 *
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Calcium g/kg DM 2.7 0.7 2.2 4.2 10
Phosphorus g/kg DM 3.5 0.6 2.9 4.7 11
Potassium g/kg DM 9.3 0.8 8.4 9.8 3
Sodium g/kg DM 0.5 0.2 0.3 0.7 3
Magnesium g/kg DM 2.0 1.9 2.0 2
Manganese mg/kg DM 43 10 35 57 5
Iron mg/kg DM 57 1
Amino acids Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Alanine % protein 3.4 0.2 3.1 3.7 12
Arginine % protein 11.0 0.7 9.5 12.3 19
Aspartic acid % protein 9.9 0.5 9.2 11.1 12
Cystine % protein 1.5 0.2 1.2 1.8 19
Glutamic acid % protein 22.8 1.4 20.8 25.0 12
Glycine % protein 4.1 0.1 3.9 4.4 11
Histidine % protein 2.7 0.1 2.4 2.9 17
Isoleucine % protein 4.2 0.2 3.9 4.4 17
Leucine % protein 6.9 0.4 6.2 7.8 18
Lysine % protein 4.7 0.2 4.5 5.1 27
Methionine % protein 0.7 0.1 0.5 0.8 18
Phenylalanine % protein 4.0 0.5 3.1 5.4 14
Proline % protein 4.3 0.3 3.7 4.6 11
Serine % protein 5.1 0.2 4.8 5.4 12
Threonine % protein 3.4 0.2 3.1 3.6 22
Tryptophan % protein 0.8 0.1 0.8 1.0 16
Tyrosine % protein 3.6 0.2 3.3 4.0 14
Valine % protein 3.9 0.2 3.4 4.3 18
Secondary metabolites Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Tannins (eq. tannic acid) g/kg DM 2.1 1.5 0.0 3.6 10
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
OM digestibility, Ruminant % 88.9 *
Energy digestibility, ruminants % 89.1 *
DE ruminants MJ/kg DM 18.1 *
ME ruminants MJ/kg DM 14.1 *
Nitrogen digestibility, ruminants % 79.9 *
Nitrogen degradability (effective, k=6%) % 77 16 50 93 6
Pig nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Energy digestibility, growing pig % 64.8 5.8 64.8 83.2 3 *
DE growing pig MJ/kg DM 13.2 1.4 13.2 17.2 3 *
MEn growing pig MJ/kg DM 12.2 *
NE growing pig MJ/kg DM 7.7 *
Nitrogen digestibility, growing pig % 83.1 79.7 86.4 2
Rabbit nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Nitrogen digestibility, rabbit % 87.0 1

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.


Abreu et al., 1998; AFZ, 2011; Ashes et al., 1978; Barnett et al., 1981; Batterham et al., 1981; Batterham et al., 1984; Batterham, 1979; Buraczewska et al., 1993; Cavaliere et al., 1989; Cherrière et al., 2003; CIRAD, 1991; Eggum et al., 1993; Faurie et al., 1992; Fekete et al., 1986; Freer et al., 1984; Gdala et al., 1996; Gdala et al., 1997; King, 1981; Maillard et al., 1990; Mancuso, 1996; Mariscal Landin, 1992; Smolders et al., 1990; Tamminga et al., 1990; Taverner et al., 1983; Valentine et al., 1987; Valentine et al., 1988

Last updated on 24/10/2012 00:44:30

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Dry matter % as fed 88.1 1.7 85.5 91.5 9
Crude protein % DM 43.0 3.5 34.4 48.4 10
Crude fibre % DM 16.3 2.2 13.5 20.2 7
NDF % DM 24.4 2.3 21.6 28.6 7
ADF % DM 20.1 2.2 18.4 24.6 7
Lignin % DM 2.1 1.2 1.4 4.9 8
Ether extract % DM 5.4 0.4 4.6 6.3 10
Ash % DM 5.0 0.9 3.6 6.5 7
Starch (polarimetry) % DM 6.9 1
Total sugars % DM 5.1 4.1 6.0 2
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 20.9 0.4 19.7 20.9 3 *
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Calcium g/kg DM 2.9 1
Phosphorus g/kg DM 9.2 1
Amino acids Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Alanine % protein 3.2 3.2 3.2 2
Arginine % protein 10.8 0.8 9.9 11.5 3
Aspartic acid % protein 10.0 9.8 10.1 2
Cystine % protein 2.0 0.2 1.5 2.2 7
Glutamic acid % protein 24.6 24.6 24.6 2
Glycine % protein 4.0 0.3 3.8 4.3 3
Histidine % protein 2.7 0.1 2.5 2.8 4
Isoleucine % protein 3.8 0.1 3.7 3.9 4
Leucine % protein 7.7 0.1 7.5 7.8 4
Lysine % protein 5.0 0.1 4.8 5.2 7
Methionine % protein 0.8 0.1 0.5 0.8 7
Phenylalanine % protein 3.7 0.5 3.3 4.4 4
Proline % protein 3.9 3.9 4.0 2
Serine % protein 4.8 4.7 4.8 2
Threonine % protein 3.2 0.0 3.1 3.2 7
Tryptophan % protein 0.8 0.1 0.8 1.0 7
Tyrosine % protein 2.7 0.2 2.5 3.0 4
Valine % protein 3.6 0.1 3.5 3.8 4
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
OM digestibility, Ruminant % 88.8 *
Energy digestibility, ruminants % 89.5 *
DE ruminants MJ/kg DM 18.7 *
ME ruminants MJ/kg DM 14.2 *
Pig nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Energy digestibility, growing pig % 64.5 *
DE growing pig MJ/kg DM 13.5 *
MEn growing pig MJ/kg DM 12.3 *
NE growing pig MJ/kg DM 7.5 *
Poultry nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
AMEn cockerel MJ/kg DM 10.3 1

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.


Abreu et al., 1998; AFZ, 2011; Buraczewska et al., 1993; Cavaliere et al., 1989; Gdala et al., 1996; Gdala et al., 1997; Guillaume, 1978; Van Etten et al., 1961

Last updated on 24/10/2012 00:44:30

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Crude protein % DM 6.7 1
Crude fibre % DM 49.9 1
NDF % DM 77.6 1
ADF % DM 58.3 1
Lignin % DM 9.9 1
Ash % DM 4.7 1
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Calcium g/kg DM 6.6 1
Phosphorus g/kg DM 1.2 1
Magnesium g/kg DM 1.7 1
Manganese mg/kg DM 104 1
Zinc mg/kg DM 34 1
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
OM digestibility, Ruminant % 49.5 *
ME ruminants MJ/kg DM 6.6 1
Pig nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Energy digestibility, growing pig % 11.8 *

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.


Abreu et al., 1998

Last updated on 24/10/2012 00:44:30

Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
ME ruminants (FAO, 1982) MJ/kg DM 12.3 1
Nitrogen digestibility, ruminants % 88.4 1
Pig nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
DE growing pig MJ/kg DM 12.1 1
Nitrogen digestibility, growing pig % 88.3 1

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.


Kirsch et al., 1938

Last updated on 24/10/2012 00:44:30

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Dry matter % as fed 88.8 1.0 87.1 89.5 5
Crude protein % DM 37.5 4.7 33.6 45.0 5
Crude fibre % DM 13.9 2.1 11.1 16.2 5
Ether extract % DM 5.0 1
Ash % DM 4.8 1
Starch (polarimetry) % DM 10.6 3.4 6.3 13.4 4
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 20.4 *
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Calcium g/kg DM 3.7 1
Phosphorus g/kg DM 2.0 1
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
OM digestibility, Ruminant % 89.6 *
Pig nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Energy digestibility, growing pig % 68.2 *
DE growing pig MJ/kg DM 13.9 *
NE growing pig MJ/kg DM 8.2 *
Nitrogen digestibility, growing pig % 90.0 1

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.


AFZ, 2011; DLG, 1961

Last updated on 24/10/2012 00:44:30

Datasheet citation 

DATASHEET UNDER CONSTRUCTION. DO NOT QUOTE. https://www.feedipedia.org/node/279 Last updated on September 25, 2017, 13:47