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Food-Processing approaches to reduce allergenic potential of proteins

Final Activity Report Summary - FOPRAPRA (Food-Processing approaches to reduce allergenic potential of proteins)

In this project, we have been able to achieve the following objectives:

i) Isolation, purification and characterisation of food allergens belonging to the 2S albumin family contained in tree nuts such as almonds (Prunus dulcis) and walnuts (Juglans regia). To accomplish this approach, we have optimised several chromatographic methods including size-exclusion, anion-exchange and reverse-phase chromatography. The identification of the different 2S albumin isomers was performed by MALDI-MS. The allergen-icity of plant food proteins may be due to a sum of the amount ingested, their stability to the processing and the gastro-intestinal tract environment, as well as their intrinsic allergenic properties. Therefore, any investigation of the structure-function relationships of allergens requires the purification, characterisation and elucidation of the structure and conformation of allergens.

ii) The study of the thermostability, in vitro gastrointestinal digestibility and subsequent absorption across human intestinal epithelial Caco-2 cell monolayers of 2S albumin allergens. Our findings revealed that 2S albumin allergens may be able to survive in immunologically reactive forms to the simulated harsh conditions of the gastrointestinal tract in order to be transported across the Caco-2 cell monolayers, so that they would be able to sensitise the mucosal immune system and / or elicit an allergic response.

iii) The antigenicity of soy proteins isolate was reduced by conjugation with carbohydrates such as fructose and fructo-oligosaccharides via the Maillard reaction. These results open up the possibility to decrease the allergenic potential of food proteins by interaction with other food ingredients.