Low-Allergy Peanut Under Development

Tuesday 8th June 2010

Scientists are developing a 'low-allergy' peanut that could revolutionise the eating habits of millions of people whose allergy fears severely restrict their diet. Researchers at the US Department of Agriculture are currently cross-breeding peanuts that miss out two allergy causing proteins.

Researchers explain that the nuts have been specially bred but are not genetically modified. Scientists have used gene therapy to identify two allergy causing nut proteins that can be bred out of the food product. The nuts could be sold individually or used by food manufacturers and restaurants to reduce the allergy risk of finished foodstuffs. Researchers believe that the low allergy nut could also be used to develop a successful anti-allergy vaccine.

Researchers hope that the low allergy peanuts could be used by food manufacturers to greatly reduce the risk of people with nut allergies falling ill after consuming a cross-contaminated nut product. The nuts could also be used to build immunity to nut allergies in young children as their allergen content would be lower than average and less likely to trigger a negative allergic response.

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