Food Allergens: Labelling, Characterization, Immunological Properties and Detection in Food Sources

A special issue of Foods (ISSN 2304-8158). This special issue belongs to the section "Food Nutrition".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2024) | Viewed by 10283

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Institute of Sciences of Food Production, Italian National Council of Research, ISPA-CNR, Via Amendola 122/O, 70126 Bari, Italy
Interests: food quality; food safety; allergen discovery and characterization; mass spectrometry; allergenicity assessment
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Guest Editor
Institute of Sciences of Food Production, National Research Council of Italy (CNR-ISPA), via G. Amendola 122/O, 70126 Bari, Italy
Interests: food allergen; proteomics; metabolomics; analytical methods; mass spectrometry; food profiling; food authenticity

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Food allergy (FA) represents a public health concern in many areas of the world, and it has been increasing at an alarming rate in recent years. In this scenario, the role of scientific research is of paramount importance. Numerous studies have been accomplished and are currently in progress to deepen the knowledge about the characterization and immunological properties of different food allergens. On the other hand, labeling requirements are in place to fulfill the current legislation issued in Europe and in other countries. Nonetheless, legislation only concerns allergens intentionally introduced into foods and does not cover the likelihood of cross-contamination that might generate a real risk. These points represent crucial aspects in food allergen study, especially for so-called novel foods. No less important is the development of sensitive methods for food allergen detection that allow safeguarding allergic individuals from hazardous ingredients derived from food unintentional contamination. Despite the extended knowledge currently available on food allergens and food allergies, further efforts are still needed for a better comprehension of this phenomenon with the final aim to contain its spread. This Special Issue aims to collect original papers or review on food allergens encompassing the following topics: characterization of new and emerging allergens, assessment of immunological properties of known and new allergens, study of the effect of food processing on allergens’ physicochemical properties, food labeling requirements, and development of analytical methods for detection of allergens in food.

You may choose our Joint Special Issue in Allergies.

Dr. Linda Monaci
Dr. Elisabetta De Angelis
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • Food allergens
  • Proteomics
  • Food allergens’ molecular characterization
  • Food allergens’ immunological properties
  • Food allergen detection
  • Novel foods
  • Food processing
  • Emerging allergens
  • Food allergens’ physicochemical properties
  • Allergenicity
  • Food labeling

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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12 pages, 2282 KiB  
Article
An In Vitro and In Vivo Translational Research Approach for the Assessment of Sensitization Capacity and Residual Allergenicity of an Extensive Whey Hydrolysate for Cow’s Milk-Allergic Infants
by Karen Knipping, Laura Buelens, Peter J. Simons and Johan Garssen
Foods 2022, 11(14), 2005; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11142005 - 07 Jul 2022
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Abstract
Introduction: Hypoallergenic formulas prepared from hydrolyzed cow’s milk proteins are often used for the management of cow’s milk allergy (CMA) in infants. In this study, both in vitro assays and an in vivo mouse model for CMA were used to assess the sensitizing [...] Read more.
Introduction: Hypoallergenic formulas prepared from hydrolyzed cow’s milk proteins are often used for the management of cow’s milk allergy (CMA) in infants. In this study, both in vitro assays and an in vivo mouse model for CMA were used to assess the sensitizing and allergenic potential of a newly developed, extensive whey hydrolysate (eWH). Methods: Gel permeation chromatography was used to characterize the molecular weight distribution of the peptides. Residual antigenicity was measured using a beta-lactoglobulin ELISA as well as with immunoblotting using anti-beta-lactoglobulin (BLG) and anti-alpha-lactalbumin antibodies. In vitro residual allergenicity was assessed using huFcεRIα-RBL-2H3 cells sensitized with anti-bovine BLG human IgE. In vivo sensitizing and allergenic potential was assessed in a CMA mouse model by measuring the acute allergic skin response, anaphylactic shock score, body temperature, serum mMCP-1, whey-specific IgE, and cytokines. Results: There was no in vitro residual antigenicity and allergenicity observed of the eWH. Mice sensitized with eWH showed no acute allergic skin reaction after challenge with whey, confirmed by an absence of whey-specific IgE and anaphylactic symptoms and decrease in body temperature and mMCP-1 levels. Conclusions: Results from our in vitro and in vivo translational approach to assess sensitization capacity and residual allergenicity indicate that the newly developed eWH is safe for use in CMA infants. This was subsequently confirmed in a clinical study in which this eWH was tolerated by more than 90% (with 95% confidence) of infants or children with confirmed CMA. Full article
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13 pages, 767 KiB  
Article
Assignment of a Reference Value of Total Cow’s Milk Protein Content in Baked Cookies Used in an Interlaboratory Comparison
by Andreas Breidbach, Jørgen Vinther Nørgaard, Elena Cubero-Leon and Maria Jose Martinez Esteso
Foods 2022, 11(6), 869; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11060869 - 18 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2132
Abstract
Interlaboratory comparisons (ILC) in the food allergens field mainly rely on the use of consensus values per applied methodology or even per type of an ELISA test kit. Results suggest good reproducibility; however, possible biases may not be recognized since metrological traceability to [...] Read more.
Interlaboratory comparisons (ILC) in the food allergens field mainly rely on the use of consensus values per applied methodology or even per type of an ELISA test kit. Results suggest good reproducibility; however, possible biases may not be recognized since metrological traceability to an independent reference is lacking. The work presented here utilizes isotope dilution mass spectrometry (IDMS) to assign a reference value of the total cow’s milk protein (TCMP) content in a baked cookie and its associated uncertainty. TCMP consists of several individual proteins, of which five (representing 92%) served us as markers for TCMP. Per marker, one to four proteotypic peptides were selected for the quantification. These were synthesized, and the mass fractions of respective reference solutions were determined with peptide-impurity-corrected amino acid analysis to establish traceability to SI units. Stable isotope labelled (“heavy”) analogues of the proteotypic peptides were also synthesized and blended with extracts of the test material or the reference solutions for IDMS. Through careful measurement design minimizing biases, well-defined model equations were developed, allowing appropriate estimation of the associated uncertainty. The determined reference value of 11.8 ± 1.1 mg TCMP/kg cookie was used for scoring of a novel ILC. Full article
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Review

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40 pages, 2696 KiB  
Review
Tree Nuts and Peanuts as a Source of Beneficial Compounds and a Threat for Allergic Consumers: Overview on Methods for Their Detection in Complex Food Products
by Anna Luparelli, Ilario Losito, Elisabetta De Angelis, Rosa Pilolli, Francesca Lambertini and Linda Monaci
Foods 2022, 11(5), 728; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11050728 - 01 Mar 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 5270
Abstract
Consumption of tree nuts and peanuts has considerably increased over the last decades due to their nutritional composition and the content of beneficial compounds. On the other hand, such widespread consumption worldwide has also generated a growing incidence of allergy in the sensitive [...] Read more.
Consumption of tree nuts and peanuts has considerably increased over the last decades due to their nutritional composition and the content of beneficial compounds. On the other hand, such widespread consumption worldwide has also generated a growing incidence of allergy in the sensitive population. Allergy to nuts and peanuts represents a global relevant problem, especially due to the risk of the ingestion of hidden allergens as a result of cross-contamination between production lines at industrial level occurring during food manufacturing. The present review provides insights on peanuts, almonds, and four nut allergens—namely hazelnuts, walnuts, cashew, and pistachios—that are likely to cross-contaminate different food commodities. The paper aims at covering both the biochemical aspect linked to the identified allergenic proteins for each allergen category and the different methodological approaches developed for allergens detection and identification. Attention has been also paid to mass spectrometry methods and to current efforts of the scientific community to identify a harmonized approach for allergens quantification through the detection of allergen markers. Full article
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