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. FSUs 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.
Shridhar Sathe | EurekAlert!
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