Modifications of allergenicity linked to food technologies

Allerg Immunol (Paris). 1998 Jan;30(1):9-13.


The prevalence of food allergies (FA) has increased over the past fifteen years. The reasons suggested are changes in dietary behaviour and the evolution of food technologies. New cases of FA have been described with chayote, rambutan, arguta, pumpkin seeds, custard apple, and with mycoproteins from Fusarium.... Additives using food proteins are at high risk: caseinates, lysozyme, cochineal red, papaïn, alpha-amylase, lactase etc. Heating can reduce allergenicity or create neo-allergens, as well as storage, inducing the synthesis of allergenic stress or PR proteins. Aeroallergens (miles, moulds) contaminate foods and can induce allergic reactions. Involuntary contamination by peanut proteins on production lines is a problem which is not yet solved. Genetically modified plants are at risk of allergenicity, requiring methodological steps of investigations: the comparison of the amino-acid sequence of the transferred protein with the sequence of known allergens, the evaluation of thermo degradability and of the denaturation by pepsin and trypsin are required, as well as the study with sera from patients allergic to the plant producing the gene. The combination of enzymatic hydrolysis, heating, or the development of genetically modified plants may offer new alternatives towards hypoallergenic foods (57 references).

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Allergens / chemistry
  • Allergens / genetics
  • Allergens / immunology
  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Child
  • Dietary Proteins / adverse effects
  • Dietary Proteins / immunology
  • Food Additives / adverse effects
  • Food Contamination
  • Food Handling
  • Food Hypersensitivity / epidemiology*
  • Food Hypersensitivity / etiology
  • Food Microbiology
  • Food Technology / trends*
  • Genetic Engineering
  • Hot Temperature
  • Humans
  • Milk Proteins / chemistry
  • Milk Proteins / immunology
  • Plant Proteins / adverse effects
  • Plant Proteins / immunology
  • Plants / genetics
  • Plants / immunology
  • Prevalence
  • Protein Denaturation


  • Allergens
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Food Additives
  • Milk Proteins
  • Plant Proteins