could lead to allergen-free peanut butter: Study
of Article: http://www.foodnavigator.com/Science-Nutrition/Polyphenols-could-lead-to-allergen-free-peanut-butter-Study
By Stephen Daniells, 31-Mar-2009
Adding polyphenols compounds to liquid
peanut butter may reduce the level of proteins in the product responsible
for peanut allergy, suggests a new study.
Adding caffeic, chlorogenic and ferulic acids to liquid peanut
butter could reduce the levels of major peanut allergens, Ara h 1 and Ara h
2, according to findings published in the journal Food Chemistry.
Si-Yin Chung and Elaine Champagne from the United States Department
of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service wrote that, while the binding
of he major soluble peanut allergens was achieved in this study, such
peanut-based products are far from hitting supermarket shelves.
“If proven by clinical studies, the research may lead to the
development of less allergenic liquid peanut-based products,” they wrote. “However, this would be not ready for general use
for many years until the allergy problem is better understood.
“The mainstay of therapy for IgE-mediated peanut allergy remains
avoidance of the offending foods and following the guidelines of food
Peanut allergies are rising in humans, with an estimated 2.5 million
people in Europe and the US now vulnerable to the food allergy.
There is no current cure for food allergy and vigilance by an
allergic individual is the only way to prevent a reaction but a peanut
allergy can be so severe that only very tiny amounts can be enough to
trigger a response.
Current recommendations in many countries, such as the UK and the
US, for would-be mothers are to avoid peanuts during pregnancy,
breastfeeding, and infancy.
With peanut allergy potentially fatal for some people, food
manufacturers are already bound by certain regulations, depending on the
country, to highlight possible allergens in a food product, such as the
EU’s Labelling Directive 2000/13/EC.
The ARS scientists treated peanut protein extracts and liquid peanut
butter with caffeic, chlorogenic and ferulic acids. The polyphenols
irreversibly formed insoluble complexes and was linked to reduced levels of
the soluble major peanut allergens.
“As a result of the complexation, IgE binding of the extracts and
liquid peanut butter was reduced approximately 10- to 16-fold,” wrote Chung and Champagne. IgE (immunoglobulin E) is the
predominant antibody associated with an allergic response.
“We concluded that reducing IgE binding by phenolics is feasible,” they added.
When is a peanut not a peanut?
“Producing an allergen-free peanut or peanut product may seem to be
the best approach to treat peanut allergy,”
said the researchers. “However, such an approach may be impractical
because […] altering enough of the peanut allergens to make a modified
peanut (or peanut product) that is less likely to cause an allergic
reaction may result in a plant or product that is no longer a peanut.”
They note a removal of certain proteins would have a detrimental
effect on both the nutritional value and the flavour of the peanut. “With
a lack of peanut flavour and nutritional value, the modified
(allergen-free) peanut or peanut product is unlikely to be welcome by
consumers,” they added.
Recently, scientists from Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge
reported results from a study with four peanut-allergic children found that
gradually increasing their exposure to peanut protein, the tolerance level
of all the children could be increased to about 800 mg grams of protein,
which is the equivalent to five peanuts, per day (Allergy, doi:
Source: Food Chemistry
Volume 115, Pages 1345-1349
"Reducing the allergenic capacity of peanut extracts and liquid
peanut butter by phenolic compounds"
Authors: Si-Yin Chung, Elaine T. Champagne