Dry Roasting May Up Peanut Allergic Potential
[Sound of peanut vendor]
Exposure to peanuts can be deadly to people with an allergy. But here’s a finding that could start to thwart the peanut threat: peanuts that are dry roasted may be more likely to trigger an allergic reaction than do their raw counterparts. At least that’s the case in mice. The study is in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. [Amin E. Moghaddam et al, Dry roasting enhances peanut allergic sensitization across mucosal and cutaneous routes in mice]
Researchers looked at how the immune systems of mice respond to purified proteins from dry-roasted peanuts versus raw peanuts. Temperatures required to dry roast peanuts—160 degrees C or higher—create chemical compounds that incite the mouse immune system.
If the findings extend to humans, it could help explain the difference in the higher incidence of peanut allergies in the western world compared with East Asia. Peanuts are equally popular in both regions, but in the west, dry-roasted peanuts are more prevalent.
The researchers are now looking at ways to stop the formation of the compounds that cause trouble, in the hopes of developing a peanut that doesn’t bite back.
—Dina Fine Maron
[The above text is a transcript of this podcast.]