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A Flour Blooms: A New Way to Avoid Food Allergies
We live in a world that’s becoming more and more food savvy. From the environmentally conscious ethos of the farm-to-table movement to the foodie generations’ pretentious familiarity with the culinary fringe, the bottom line here is that there’s more to things out there to try than ever. This makes the increasing prevalence of food allergies doubly disappointing.
There are now 170 foods classified as potential allergens to the human body. Reactions/symptoms can range from hives and itching to anaphylactic shock and dangerous swelling. Peanut allergies are often the most severe, but tree nut allergies, berry allergies, and seafood/shellfish reactions can also pose quite a threat.
We’ll leave it to you to develop your own theory as to why food allergies are on the rise, but we’re happy to report that someone is doing something about it. Mary Ann Lila and her scientist colleagues recently wrote in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry that a new kind of flour may go a long way in helping people deal with food allergy triggers.
The flour takes a cue from an experimental treatment called desensitization. Not unlike a classic vaccine, the use of this flour in cooking would introduce the person to a very small amount of their allergen thereby setting off a beneficial response in the body and building up a tolerance.
According to a recent article on www.MedicalNewsToday, “They turned to plant polyphenols, which have shown promise as compounds that can dampen allergic reactions. The scientists developed a modified flour powder in which cranberry polyphenols were bound to peanut proteins. With this extra cargo, the peanut-containing powder triggered the beneficial desensitization reactions, without provoking harmful allergic responses in laboratory tests with mice. The scientists note that the technique could also be adapted for other food allergies.”
The hope is that, before long, you could walk into any restaurant worth its salt and order a piece of meat dredged in whatever flour was best for you.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.