We just added this info to Vitamin B12 in Plant Foods:
While tempeh is usually made by fermenting soybeans, it can also be made using a different species of legume, lupine beans. The bacteria used to create lupine tempeh is Rhizopus oligosporus, which doesn’t produce B12. However, Signorini et al. (2018) added a B12-producing bacteria, Propionibacterium freudenreichii, to the tempeh fermentation process resulting in 1.2 µg of B12 per 100 g dry weight of the lupine tempeh. The study didn’t address the costs of producing B12 in this way compared to simply producing supplements, but this fermentation process holds promise as a way to provide a source of B12 in plant foods.
Signorini C, Carpen A, Coletto L, Borgonovo G, Galanti E, Capraro J, Magni C, Abate A, Johnson SK, Duranti M, Scarafoni A. Enhanced vitamin B12 production in an innovative lupin tempeh is due to synergic effects of Rhizopus and Propionibacterium in cofermentation. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2018 Jun;69(4):451-457.
2 thoughts on “Lupine Tempeh as a Potential Source of B12”
Did they try using the B12 producing bacteria with soybeans? What do lupine beans have that soybeans lack?
From the paper:
> Lupin contains lower amounts of both fats and antinutritional compounds than soybean (Duranti et al. 2008) and has non-gen- etically modified status. The presence of the bitter-tasting neurotoxic alkaloids is a main issue that limits the use of lupin-based foods. The lowest alkaloids content is reported in L. albus varieties (Reinhard et al. 2006; Boschin et al. 2008), whereas the highest in L. mutabilis (Hatzold et al. 1983). However, low-alkaloid lupin varieties are available (Wink et al. 1995, 2011; Kouris-Blazos & Belski 2016). The maximum permitted level of quinolizidine alkaloid content in lupin flours and foods was set at 0.02%. The daily intake of alkaloid for humans was suggested as 0.035 mg/kg body weight/day (ANZFA 2001). Rhizopus spp. fermentation has been reported as an effective to reduce the presence of alkaloids (Jimenez- Martınez et al. 2007; Ortega-David & Rodrıguez- Stouvenel 2013) and of other undesirable compounds (Fudiyansyah et al. 1995) in lupin.
> Tempeh has been described as one of the first plant-derived food containing relevant amounts of vitamin B12 (2–40 ng/g dry weight) (Liem et al. 1977; Bisping et al. 1993; Keuth & Bisping 1994). However, it has been shown that the vitamin was produced not by the R. oligosporus starter culture used, since this species is incapable to synthesise it (Keuth & Bisping 1993), but by contaminating bacteria, such as Klebsiella pneumoniae, Citrobacter freundii (Keuth & Bisping 1994), Bacillus megaterium and Streptomyces olivaceus (Krusong et al. 1991).
> Attempts to increase the vitamin B12 content of soyabean tempeh have reported by using R. oligosporus cofermentation with C. freundii (Denter & Bisping 1994; Wiesel et al. 1997) or Propionibacterium shermanii (Krusong et al. 1991). The vitamin B12 levels in these cofermentations reached about 59ng/g dry weight and 1.85ng/g dry weight, respectively. On the contrary, cofermentation with Lactobacillus plantarum was not effective, since the content of vitamin B12 was less than 1ng/g dry weight (Mo et al. 2013).
> In this work, we investigated the possibility of producing a tempeh analogue containing high amounts of vitamin B12 using seeds of different lupin species, namely L. albus, L. angustifolius and L. mutabilis, while also monitoring any decrease in alkaloid levels.