Dr. Andy

Reflections on medicine and biology among other things

Monday, June 06, 2005

Fermented peanuts

Sounds like a bad idea for a new alcoholic drink, but in fact it may be a way to lessen the allergenicity of peanuts.
Now researchers have discovered that a special fermentation process can cut levels of major allergy-triggering proteins in peanut flour by up to 70 percent. The hope is to refine the processing method to the point where it can render the culprit proteins completely non-allergenic
This sounds great, but is a very long way from clinical usefullness. First a 70% production is barely relevant as even tiny amounts of peanut protein can cause fatal and near-fatal reaction in those with peanut allergies.

Second, according to the article they only measured reduced levels of two peanut allergens Ara h1 and Ara h2 and there may be other, unaffected, allergens to which people are sensitized.

ALLERGY TRIVIA: allergens, the proteins allergic individuals react to are named as follows: the first 3 letters of the genus followed by the first letter of the species and then a number to distinguish the allergens from one another.

So peanuts scientific name is Arachis hypogaea, hence Ara h1 and Ara h2 for the first two discovered allergens.

Similarly the major cat allergen is Fel d1 from Felis domesticus (official name now felis catus according to this site)


At 9:58 AM, Blogger jon said...

Looking at asthma exercise info online today while my son coughs I came across this post. Does anyone know a good asthma exercise site to help?



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