Allergy free peanuts

Allergy Free Peanuts

With funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, researchers from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University have developed a treatment they claim is able to make peanuts safe for consumption by people who are allergic to untreated peanuts. The treatment involves soaking roasted peanuts in a food-based enzymatic solution commonly used in food processing.

Following treatment, the researchers maintain the legumes have the same look and taste of roasted peanuts, yet Ara H1, the most allergenic peanut protein, is undetectable, and levels of Ara H2 are reduced by 98% compared to untreated peanuts. It has not been stated what levels remain of the other proteins present in peanuts, many of which are also capable of eliciting an allergic response in sensitised individuals.

While reports state that human skin-prick trials have been conducted to measure the effectiveness of the process, it is not known whether any clinical trials have been carried out using the enzyme-treated peanuts.

The University has licensed the technology to Toronto-based Xemerge to commercialise the peanuts in what is likely to be a lengthy process.

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