Jun 23, 2014
By Jane Brown
Imagine a peanut that looks like one and tastes like one, but doesn’t cause the allergic reactions many people experience.
Researchers at North Carolina’s Agricultural and Technical State University have developed a process for a hypoallergenic peanut. The scientists soaked deshelled and roasted peanuts in a solution of food grade enzymes and found peanut allergens were reduced by 98 percent. The lead researcher says treated peanuts can be used as whole peanuts, in pieces or as flour to make foods containing peanuts safer for many people who are allergic.
An agreement was recently signed between the university and Xemerge, a Toronto based firm commercializing emerging technologies in food and agriculture. A spokesman for Xemerge says there’s still no timetable for when hypoallergenic peanut products would be available to food manufacturers or in stores.
Allergic reactions to peanuts can vary from mild hives to severe swelling and low blood pressure.