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Module 5: Allergenicity

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Food Allergies - The Influence of Biotechnology

Potential ability to suppress or reduce allergen production

A potential benefit of food produced through agricultural biotechnology is the ability to eliminate or reduce allergens from known allergenic foods (7, 10). Through various techniques of biotechnology, the proteins in certain foods that elicit allergic reactions could be altered or removed, thus engineering hypoallergenic foods (7). For example, peanuts are a known allergenic food to many people, and through biotechnology it may be possible to reduce or eliminate the allergen in peanuts that elicits the allergic reaction. Currently there are no products on the market with reduced allergenicity.

Discussion Question :

Can you think of any other foods, in addition to peanuts, that could be genetically engineered to be hypoallergenic?



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