Researchers at the University of Florida say they may have a solution for avoiding the substance in peanuts that can cause a severe allergic reaction. As those with severe peanut allergies well know, even the residue of a peanut can cause anaphylactic shock, a potentially life-threatening reaction. According to their research, treating the peanuts with UV rays before they're eaten could remove the allergen, making it safe for those with peanut allergies to eat or handle peanuts.
They found that pulsed ultraviolet light, or PUV, deactivates the protein responsible for allergic reaction. After treating nuts by directing UV rays at them, the protein is no longer recognized by the immune system. Preliminary results show the treatment could reduce the risk of an allergic response by nearly 90 percent.
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The team is also studying whether PUV treatment could be helpful for other food allergens by removing similar proteins responsible for allergic reactions. It's shown some initial promise with soybeans, although too much light causes the beans to cook, changing their consistency. More research is needed to see if and how this technology might be used to make food safe for those with allergies.
Read more about this new research here: http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/dpp/health/doctor_jo/uv-rays-peanut-allergy...