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Allergic reactions to peanuts are a major cause of food-induced anaphylaxis, both in children and adults. It is estimated that approximately 1% of the world’s population developed allergy to peanuts and the prevalence is exhibiting an increasing trend. Sensitization by peanut proteins is suspected to develop directly by ingestion of food containing peanuts or processed peanut proteins or through skin, using cosmetic products containing peanut oil and some peanut proteins. In this chapter, biochemical properties of major peanut allergens (Ara h 1, Ara h 2, Ara h 3 and Ara h 6) are thoroughly reviewed with emphasis on structural similarity to proteins from other sources which is frequently resulting in cross-reactivity. Recently reported peanut proteins are briefly described (Ara h 7-17). Methodologies for detecting minute amounts of peanuts in different sources will be improved by further advancement of knowledge on peanut allergens. Hopefully, the potential threat to peanut-allergic pe...rsons produced by contamination of food by trace amounts of peanuts and their proteins will be diminished. © 2017 by Nova Science Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.
Keywords:Ara h 1 / Ara h 2 / Ara h 3 / Ara h 6 / Arachis hypogea L. / Major peanut allergens / Minor peanut allergens / Peanut allergy
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