High pressure, thermal and pulsed electric-field-induced structural changes in selected food allergens

Phil E. Johnson, Iesel Van Der Plancken, Ana Balasa, Fiona A. Husband, Tara Grauwet, Marc Hendrickx, Dietrich Knorr, E. N.Clare Mills, Alan R. Mackie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


Scope: The effects of high-pressure/temperature treatment and pulsed electric field treatment on native peanut Ara h 2, 6 and apple Mal d 3 and Mal d 1b prepared by heterologous expression were examined.Methods and results: Changes in secondary structure and aggregation state of the treated proteins were characterized by circular dichroism spectroscopy and gel-filtration chromatography. Pulsed electric field treatment did not induce any significant changes in the structure of any of the allergens. High-pressure/temperature at 20°C did not change the structure of the Ara h 2, 6 or Mal d 3 and resulted in only minor changes in structure of Mal d 1b. Ara h 2, 6 was stable to HPP at 80°C, whereas changes in circular dichroism spectra were observed for both apple allergens. However, these changes were attributable to aggregation and adiabatic heating during HPP. An ELISA assay of temperature treated Mal d 3 showed the antibody reactivity correlated well with the loss of structure.Conclusion: In conclusion, novel-processing techniques had little effect on purified allergen structure. Further studies will demonstrate if these stability properties are retained in foodmatrices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1701-1710
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Nutrition and Food Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Allergy
  • Apple
  • High pressure
  • Peanut
  • Pulsed electric field

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science

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