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Food Allergies: Nothing to be Nuts Over By :


Food Allergies: Nothing to be Nuts Over By : The Tree Nuts Brielle, Jennifer, and June Which Foods Cause Allergies? Tree Nuts Legumes (such as peanuts and soy ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Food Allergies: Nothing to be Nuts Over By :

Food Allergies Nothing to be Nuts OverBy
The Tree NutsBrielle, Jennifer, and June
Which Foods Cause Allergies?
  • Tree Nuts
  • Legumes (such as peanuts and soy)
  • Seafood
  • Seeds (that can include mustard!)
  • Dairy (including whey)
  • Eggs
  • Commonly outgrown by adulthood
  • Other proteins commonly implicated in food
    allergy include chocolate (cocoa), yeast, and
    fruits from the rose (strawberries and other
    berries),, citrus, and plum families, as well as
    food dyes and sulphites. http//

Predictors of Food Allergies
  • Family history
  • -Infants with one allergic parents have about
    twice the risk of developing food allergy than
    infants whose parents do not have allergies.
  • -If both are allergic, the risk increases 4-6
  • Breast feeding reduces risk of developing food

What is the prevalence of a food allergy?
  • Estimates for the prevalence of food allergy are
    much lower than are perceived by the public.
  • About 1-2 of the adult population have a food
  • Higher among young children, with 3-7 affected.

Helps to Know Botanical Relationships
  • For example, if youre allergic to cashews, you
    may also be allergic to mangos.
  • But if youre allergic to nuts, youre not
    necessarily allergic to peanuts.
  • Cherries and plums are in the same fruit family.

Mechanisms of the Allergic Response
  • Predisposed person first exposed to specific
  • IgE is formed after first exposure
  • (Tiny protein fragments produce IgE against
    that food.)
  • IgE then attaches to surface of mast cells
  • Next time protein is eaten, it interacts with
    specific IgE on the mast cells and triggers
    release of chemicals such as histamines
  • So the body remembers what it ate previously!
  • An individual who has asthma or eczema, or has
    a family history of food allergies or asthma or

Allergies are not the same as Intoleranceshttp
Allergic responses involve the immune
system. Intolerances are metabolic, e.g.
sensitivity to gluten (a protein found in wheat,
rye, barley and oats) or to lactose
Mechanisms of the Allergic Response

So Its All in the Proteins
  • Specific proteins or portions of the proteins
    found in the offending foods cause reaction
  • Epitopes parts of proteins that the body reads
    as foreign
  • Each allergy-causing food may contain several
    potential reaction-causing proteins

Symptoms of Allergic Reactions
  • Respiratory
  • Gastrointestinal
  • Skin
  • Systemic (Anaphylaxis)

Food Allergy Frequencies in General
  • Anybody here have food allergies or know someone
    who does?
  • 1.5 percent of adults and up to 6 percent of
    children younger than three years old
  • Many allergies lifelong (especially nuts)
  • Some can develop later in life (such as seafood)
  • Roughly 150 Americans die per year from

The Action of Epinephrine to Counteract
How Do We Test for Allergies?
  • Observation!
  • Skin testing (not very accurate)
  • Blood serum
  • Food challenge

Allergy Treatment Methods
Focus on Three Tree Nuts
  • Walnuts - particularly strong reaction by some
    individuals to tiny amount of walnut proteins
  • Cashews - proteins very stable whether nut is
    roasted, toasted or blanched
  • Almonds one of the most common nuts

Our Local Expert Dr. Shridhar
  • Has worked for decades to identify the amino
    acid sequences in various foods that cause
    reaction (specialty is nut proteins)
  • We now have an assay that can detect as little as
    20 ng of specific protein
  • Effects of food processing on allergenicity

Main Avenues of Research
  • Food processing, e.g. various cooking methods, or
    exposure to enzymes to denature proteins
  • Immunotherapy (NOT the same as allergy shots,
    since sensitivities increase with each exposure)
  • Prevention of degranulation of mast cells

Mast Cell Degranulationhttp//
When mast cells are activated or degranulated
they release irritating substances such as
histamine and leukotrienes. The question is
whether it is possible to prevent their
degranulation, and therefore allergic symptoms.
Changing the Protein Structure to Prevent
Allergic Responses
Heat doesnt sufficiently denature most nut
proteins. Neither does gamma radiation. But one
piece of good news Since these protein elements
of various nuts are so stable, they are useful in
detecting trace amounts of almonds, cashews and
walnuts in food products.
Some Thorny Issues
  • Cross contamination
  • Allergens where you dont necessarily expect
    them, e.g. sesame flour in MOST bread crumbs
  • Genetically Manipulated Organisms (GMO)
  • International protocols necessary
  • Labeling

References References McMurry,
James and Richard Castellion. Fundamentals of
General, Organic and Biological Chemistry. New
Jersey Saddle River, 2003.Mengna, Su.
Impact of Gamma Irradiation and Thermal
Processing on the Antigenicity of Almond, Cashew
Nut and Walnut Protein. Journal of the Science
of Food and Agriculture, 841119-1125 (online
2004) Sathe, Shridhar K. Personal Interview.
8 October 2004.Websites
tures/2001/401_food.html (FDA)http//www.eufic.o
rg/en/quickfacts/food_allergy.htm (European Union
Food Information Center)http//www.foodallergy.o
rg/ (Food Allergy Network).