Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

FSU scientists develop new tests to detect nut allergens in processed food

07.07.2004


Scientists at Florida State University subjected walnuts, cashew nuts and almonds to radiation, roasting, pressure cooking, blanching, frying and microwave heating in an effort to make them safe for allergy sufferers.



In the end, the nutritious little nuggets refused to surrender their allergens, but the research yielded sensitive techniques that detect minute traces of the nuts -- potentially fatal to allergic consumers -- in seemingly nut-free processed foods.

The study, "Impact of gamma-irradiation and thermal processing on the antigenicity of almond, cashew nut and walnut proteins," is published in the current edition of the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. FSU’s Shridhar Sathe, the D.K. Salunkhe Professor of Food Science, and Kenneth Roux, a professor in the department of biological science, conducted the research with assistance from graduate students Mengna Su, Yanhong Wei and Mahesh Venkatachalam, and from Susan Teuber, an associate professor at University of California-Davis.


"Globally-popular almonds, walnuts and cashews are the tree nuts most often implicated in permanent and sometimes fatal food allergies, and currently there are no de-sensitizing treatments available," said Sathe. Vulnerable individuals must scrupulously avoid all contact with the offending tree nuts, an increasingly difficult feat since they are widely used in a variety of bakery, confectionery and snack foods.

"Improper food labeling and cross-contamination during commercial processing pose serious threats to sensitive consumers while often leading to expensive food recalls," Sathe said.

The researchers had previously identified the specific tree nut proteins relevant to human allergies. They then aimed, through irradiation alone or in combination with other thermal treatments, to induce changes in the protein structures to reduce or eliminate allergenicity and antigenicity. Yet the antigenicity of the tree nut proteins remained mostly unchanged throughout the irradiation and thermal processing, dashing hopes that the treatments would render the healthy snacks safer for wider consumption and more profitable for growers and industry.

However, the bad news in turn generated some very good news -- precisely because the irradiation and thermal procedures likely to be encountered during commercial processing did nothing to alter the tree nut protein antigenicity. Now lab tests originally used on unprocessed cashew nuts, almonds and walnuts to detect antigenic proteins could be reliably applied to detect minute traces in already-processed food products as well.

"Development of specific, robust, sensitive and reproducible assays for tree nut detection will help protect sensitive consumers who must rely upon accurate labeling, as well as food industry and regulatory agencies who monitor the presence of trace quantities in both food and feed," said Sathe. He cautioned that "continued and vigorous research is now urgently warranted" to expedite preparation of the techniques for commercial use.

Shridhar Sathe | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.fsu.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Team discovers how bacteria exploit a chink in the body's armor
20.01.2017 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

nachricht Rabies viruses reveal wiring in transparent brains
19.01.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>