Background: More than 100 apple varieties are consumed worldwide. However, the allergenic composition of most apple varieties has not been fully characterized.
Objective: To analyze the antigenic and allergenic profiles of 10 different commercially available apple varieties.
Methods: Golden, Golden Perlim, Reineta, Reineta Parda, Fuji, Verdedoncella, Granny-Smith, Pink Lady, Royal Gala, and Starking apple varieties were carefully peeled. Peels were individually extracted and centrifuged, and the supernatants were collected, dialyzed, filtered, frozen, and freeze-dried. The extracts were characterized using sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and immunoblots. Protein content was measured using the Lowry-Biuret method. Twenty-two Spanish patients with oral allergy syndrome after apple ingestion were included in the study. Specific IgE to all apple varieties and birch pollen was evaluated. Eleven patients underwent skin prick testing using extracts of Golden, Starking, and Reineta Parda varieties to determine differences in their in vivo allergenicity.
Results: The antigenic profile of the 10 varieties showed differences using sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. A 9-kDa band, which could correspond to Mal d 3, was visualized in all the extracts. The Starking variety had the highest protein content. Higher specific IgE values were also obtained for the Starking variety, and the lowest values were for Reineta Parda and Royal Gala. The largest wheals were obtained in all patients with the Starking variety, and the smallest with Reineta Parda. Fourteen patients (64%) recognized Mal d 3 in the Golden variety using immunoblots; 6 patients (27%), who also had specific IgE to Betula, recognized bands with higher molecular weights.
Conclusions: We demonstrated differences in the antigenic and allergenic profiles of the analyzed varieties and a significant variation in Mal d 3 content.