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Effects of cooking methods on peanut allergenicity.

Beyer, K., E. Morrow, X.M. Li, L. Bardina, G.A. Bannon, A.W. Burks, H.A. Sampson, 2001. Effects of cooking methods on peanut allergenicity. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 107:1077-1081.

Background: Allergy to peanut is a significant health problem. Interestingly, the prevalence of peanut allergy in China is much lower than that in the United States, despite a high rate of peanut consumption in China. In China, peanuts are commonly fried or boiled, whereas in the United States peanuts are typically dry roasted. Objective: The aim of this study was to examine whether the method of preparing peanuts could be a factor in the disparity of allergy prevalence between the 2 countries. Methods: Two varieties of peanuts grown in the United States were roasted, boiled, or fried. Proteins were analyzed by using SDS-PAGE and immunoblotting. Allergenicity was compared by using immunolabeling with sera from 8 patients with peanut allergy. Results: The protein fractions of both varieties of peanuts were altered to a similar degree by frying or boiling. Compared with roasted peanuts, the relative amount of Ara h 1 was reduced in the fried and boiled preparations, resulting in a significant reduction of IgE-binding intensity. In addition, there was significantly less IgE binding to Ara h 2 and Ara h 3 in fried and boiled peanuts compared with that in roasted peanuts, even though the protein amounts were similar in all 3 preparations. Conclusion: The methods of frying or boiling peanuts, as practiced in China, appear to reduce the allergenicity of peanuts compared with the method of dry roasting practiced widely in the United States. Roasting uses higher temperatures that apparently increase the allergenic property of peanut proteins and may help explain the difference in prevalence of peanut allergy observed in the 2 countries.