Scientists remove allergens from prawns

February 26, 2007

Chinese researchers say they have good news for seafood allergy sufferers who might soon be able to eat prawns without the fear of an adverse reaction.

The researchers at the Ocean University of China have devised a way to remove from prawns the proteins that cause an allergic response without resorting to genetic manipulation.

Lead researcher Li Zhenxing says his team found treating prawns with a combination of heat and irradiation significantly reduced the level of reactive proteins called allergens. They took blood from patients with shrimp allergies, added samples of treated and untreated prawn and measured how antibodies in the blood reacted.

They found that levels of one of the major allergens decreased 20-fold after treatment.

The research is reported in the magazine Chemistry & Industry.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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