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Non-GMO Solution To Seafood Allergies

Date:
February 26, 2007
Source:
Society of Chemical Industry
Summary:
Seafood allergy sufferers may soon be able to eat prawns without the fear of an adverse reaction. Chinese scientists have taken a promising step towards removing from prawns the proteins that cause an allergic response without resorting to genetic manipulation, reports Lisa Richards in Chemistry & Industry, the magazine of the Society of Chemical Industry.
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Seafood allergy sufferers may soon be able to eat prawns without the fear of an adverse reaction. Chinese scientists have taken a promising step towards removing from prawns the proteins that cause an allergic response without resorting to genetic manipulation, reports Lisa Richards in Chemistry & Industry (http://www.chemind.org), the magazine of the SCI.

Li Zhenxing led the research at the Ocean University of China. The team revealed that treating prawns with a combination of heat and irradiation significantly reduced the level of reactive proteins called allergens. They took blood from patients with shrimp allergies, added samples of treated and untreated prawn, and measured how antibodies in the blood reacted. They found that levels of 'Pen a 1', one of the major allergens, decreased 20-fold after treatment (Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture DOI 10.1002/jsfa.2746).

Zhenxing's team suggests that irradiation damages the proteins, revealing hidden reactive amino acid residues. Subsequent heating then destroys the exposed residues. "Radiation and heat seems to be a promising method for reducing the immunoreactivity" say the researchers.

Samuel Lehrer of Tulane University in New Orleans, USA, is already working on removing allergens from prawns using genetic techniques. But Zhenxing's method could be preferable for people wary of eating genetically modified foods.


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The above story is based on materials provided by Society of Chemical Industry. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


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Society of Chemical Industry. "Non-GMO Solution To Seafood Allergies." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 February 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070226095241.htm>.
Society of Chemical Industry. (2007, February 26). Non-GMO Solution To Seafood Allergies. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070226095241.htm
Society of Chemical Industry. "Non-GMO Solution To Seafood Allergies." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070226095241.htm (accessed May 29, 2015).

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