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Peanuts may no longer cause allergies

peanutAllergic to peanuts? You may soon start eating them without being worried about allergic symptoms. Scientists have now found a unique way to render peanuts devoid of allergens.

In a study published in the journal Food and Bioprocess Technology, researchers used a specific technique to remove allergens present in peanuts, making it allergy-free. The techniques uses pulses of ultraviolet light or pulsating light system generated using two lamps filled with xenon, two cooling blowers, one treatment chamber with a conveyor belt and a control module - to direct concentrated bursts of light to eliminate the peanut allergens proteins.

The technique successfully removed 80 per cent of allergic proteins present in peanuts. According to the researchers the technique could eventually eliminate 99.9 per cent of peanut allergens. Peanut allergens must be eliminated below a certain threshold for patients to be safe, said Wade Yang, an assistant professor in food science and human nutrition and member of University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

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If Yang can cut the allergens from 150 milligrams of protein per peanut to below 1.5 milligrams, 95 per cent of those with peanut allergies would be safe. It's challenging to eliminate all peanut allergens, Yang said, because doing so may risk destroying peanuts' texture, colour, flavour and nutrition. But Yang said he is using novel methods like pulsed light to reach an allergen level that will protect most people.

Yang, however, cautioned that he has done peanut allergen experiments only in a laboratory setting so far. He hopes to eventually conduct clinical trials on animals and humans.

In the study, Yang and his colleagues applied the pulsed ultraviolet light technology to whole peanuts. That makes the findings more useful, because peanut processing usually starts from whole-peanut roasting, and roasted peanuts are then packaged to sell as whole peanuts or made into peanut butter, Yang said.

Source: PTI

Photo source: Getty images

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