What do we know about plant food allergens?

J. A. Jenkins, A. I. Sancho, Charlotte Bernhard Madsen, P. R. Shewry, E. N. C. Mills

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearch


Food allergies are a topic of interest and concern for both consumers and the Agro-Food industry which is reflected in the plethora of internet-based information resources now available. The development of a reliable credible resource through the EU-funded InformAll project is described, along with other related credible internet resources with information on food allergies and allergens. The InformAll database is unique as it combines refereed information on the clinical aspects of food allergies with details of individual allergens. The collection of allergenic protein sequences into online databases has allowed their classification into families. This has shown that plant food allergens fall into four main families, with the prolamin superfamily (including the 2S albumins, nonspecific lipid transfer proteins and cc-amylase inhibitors) predominating, followed by the family of allergens related to the major birch pollen allergen, Bet v 1, and the cupin superfamily, including the I IS and 7S seed storage globulins. Future studies will be required to allow us to begin understand what it is about these protein families - whether it be their abundance, stability or some as yet unidentified factor - that is predisposing certain family members to becoming allergens.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAgro Food Industry Hi-Tech
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)27-29
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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