Chocho the Andean Lupin (Lupinus Mutabilis)

What exactly is Chocho?

Chocho is a legume. Chocho beans come from the plant lupinus mutabilis. It is a type of Lupin that is native to Ecuador, Peru and some parts of South America. Chocho is also known as the Andean Lupin, and was a staple food of the Incas. Currently, Chocho is popular in the mountainous regions of Ecuador and is considered one of the most nutritious superfoods of the Andes. Lupin, like other legumes, are related to peanuts, chickpeas and soy. Chocho has the highest protein content of all commercially grown lupins - while sweet lupins contain 30-40% protein, de-bittered Andean Lupin has more than 50% protein.

Where does Chocho grow?

Chocho plants grow in a very particular climate. Most of our plantations are above 11,000 feet, and can be as high as 14,000. Chocho is tolerant to drought, and in fact thrives with less water. This means it has a higher yield with less water. Chocho is a staple crop of Ecuador mountain region. Chocho plants excel in dry sunny conditions, making the Western Andes the perfect place to grow them.

How is Chocho harvested?

Chocho is harvested once a year around November or December. The plant takes a year to grow. The flowers of Chocho turn into this Pods of Chocho beans. They dry up during the winter months (July through September) and finally fall to the ground late in the year. We collect all of the pods carefully and they go through an industrial process for collection, sorting and processing.

What is the taste of Chocho?

 Chocho is a very mild tasting. You can put your Chocho Superfood Protein powder in anything, from your açai bowl to your favorite smoothie, and it will not overpower the taste of the food that you are putting it in. This makes Chocho Superfood Protein great for blending or mixing with anything, while keeping its natural taste. 

Is Chocho a complete protein?

A complete protein are those that have all the 10 essential Amino acids. Chocho has all of the essential amino acids and has a complete profile of Branch Chained Amino acids (BCAAs). BCAAs assist in building muscle, decrease muscle fatigue and alleviate muscle soreness. So Yes, Chocho is considered a complete protein. 

What does it mean that it is Non-Extracted or Non-Isolated?

Most plant-based proteins on the market are processed, creating protein concentrates or isolates through extraction or isolation methods. These processes often involve stripping some of the original nutrients of the protein to isolate only the protein portion of the product. Besides creating waste, this makes most proteins hard to digest, to cause bloating or issues with the absorbing all the nutrients.Mikuna Chocho Superfood Protein is non-isolated and non-extracted, meaning that we keep the original nutrients of the plant (Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Fiber), making it super easy for your body to absorb.