Internet Symposium on Food Allergens 2(4):171-84 (2000)

Allergens of Animal Origin:
Stability and Allergenicity of Processed Foods

Matthias BESLER (a, b), Hans STEINHART (a), Angelika PASCHKE (a)

(a) Institute of Biochemistry and Food Chemistry, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
(b) matthias besler ONLINE PUBLISHER, Hamburg, Germany
This article reviews recent data on the stability of cow's milk, hen's egg, fish, crustaceae, and meat allergens during food processing. Generally, allergens of food origin are stable and highly potent. Most severe allergic reactions, including fatal events, can be due to ingestion of cow's milk, hen's egg, fish, and shrimp. The allergenicity could be altered potentially by various procedures such as washing, chopping, mincing, heating, canning, storage, and ripening. Separation methods may simply reduce the allergen content of a specific product by e.g. extraction, precipitation, or ultrafiltration. In comparison heating (dry heating, boiling or cooking) and enzymatic digestion affect the allergen structure. Cow's milk and hen's egg allergens retain their allergenicity after common industrial treatments. The production of hypoallergenic cow's milk infant formulas requires extensive conditions of hydrolysis, heating, and/or ultrafiltration. Fish and crustaceae are usually stable to heat treatment, while meat allergens are only partially heat stable. Fish is partially stable and meat is susceptible to enzymatic digestion.
Future investigations should monitor the allergenicity of foods throughout manufacturing processes from source to shelf- products by various analytical and diagnostic methods such as DBPCFC, SPT, RAST, SDS-PAGE immunoblot, and inhibition tests. Especially products containing cow's milk and hen's egg should be evaluated since the latter are common as hidden allergens in various processed foods. Clinical evaluations of processed foods should be conducted in several countries with appropriate numbers of patients with convincing allergy to the native food allergen.

food allergy
allergen stability
food technology
cow's milk
hen's egg

[Introduction] [Milk] [Egg] [Fish] [Crustaceae] [Meat] [Conclusions] [References] [Abbreveations]

Matthias Besler
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