Food allergy, an abnormal immunological response due to sensitization to a food component, has become an important health problem, especially in industrialized countries. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of thermal processing and glycation on the basophil activation by hazelnut proteins using a basophil activation test. Patients with systemic allergic reactions (SR; n=6) to hazelnut as well as patients with an isolated oral allergy syndrome (OAS; n=4) were investigated. Thermal processing of hazelnut proteins either in the presence or absence of wheat proteins did not result in major changes in the stimulatory activity of the basophils for patients with SR or OAS. For the patients with OAS, incubation of hazelnut proteins with glucose led to complete depletion of the stimulatory activity of the basophils. An increase in stimulatory activity of the basophils for two out of six patients with SR was observed. For the other four patients slight or complete abolition of the stimulatory activity was observed. These results indicate that some patients with SR to hazelnut are at risk when exposed to hazelnut proteins, even in processed foods.
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