Digestibility of food allergens
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Almost all known food allergens that sensitize via the gastrointestinal system belong to the prolamin and cupin protein superfamilies of allergens. These are mainly characterized by resistance to heat and digestion. Though appealing, the hypothesis that allergenicity is directly linked to stability to pepsin digestion remains controversial. Besides allergen structure, new data are emerging on the influence of various other factors on allergen survival and uptake by the gut immune system, some of them related to the properties of the food matrix, and others to the way we process food. Nevertheless, the accumulation of knowledge on all those various and complex interactions between food components and gut immune system will help us understand better food allergies and manufacture safer food. © CAB International 2009.