2019 | Ecuador | Avelina de la Torre

Upcycling chochos (Lupinus mutabilis) Sustainable reuse of water from the hydrating process

Water issue adressed: Too much
Chochos being grown in the Chugchilán, Ecuador

Chocho (Lupinus mutabilis) is a traditional Andean bean that in the last years has gained importance due to its widely appreciated nutritional value. Chochos need to be processed before their consumption because of the presence of anti-nutritional substances, mostly alkaloids, which are chemicals that protect the plant against insect attacks. Chochos are grown by small farmers in the Ecuadorian Andes, they are then dried and stored for their commercialization. For consumption, chochos need to be rehydrated, after which the hydration water is discharged. The main issue covered is the unnecessary waste of water which represent the rehydration of chochos. Linking up sustainable sanitation, water management and agriculture plays also a great role in this investigation since the rehydration process of chochos takes a lot of water. The aim of this research was to test debittering water on seedlings of selected agricultural species found in the Andean region as an irrigation water. The results of this research show that debittered chochos’ water could be beneficial for seedling depending on the concentration of alkaloids in the water. This project aims at testing the possibilities of upcycling the water used as debittering agent of a valuable food item, as an irrigation water for crops in the production area of chochos.

This is how I came up with the idea for this project:

My grandma used to debitter chochos so I saw the need of doing something with the water that usually gets disposed after rehydrating them. Chocho (Lupinus mutabilis) is a traditional Andean bean that in the last years has gained importance due to its widely appreciated nutritional value.