Prospects for developing allergen-depleted food crops

Lokya, V and Parmar, S and Pandey, A K and Sudini, H K and Huai, D and Ozias-Akins, P and Foyer, C H and Nwosu, C V and Karpinska, B and Baker, A and Xu, P and Liao, B and Mir, R R and Chen, X and Guo, B and Nguyen, H T and Kumar, R and Bera, S K and Singam, P and Kumar, A and Varshney, R K and Pandey, M K (2023) Prospects for developing allergen-depleted food crops. The Plant Genome (TSI), 16 (4). pp. 1-32. ISSN 1940-3372

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In addition to the challenge of meeting global demand for food production, there are increasing concerns about food safety and the need to protect consumer health from the negative effects of foodborne allergies. Certain bio-molecules (usually proteins) present in food can act as allergens that trigger unusual immunological reactions, with potentially life-threatening consequences. The relentless working lifestyles of the modern era often incorporate poor eating habits that include readymade prepackaged and processed foods, which contain additives such as peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, and soy-based products, rather than traditional home cooking. Of the predominant allergenic foods (soybean, wheat, fish, peanut, shellfish, tree nuts, eggs, and milk), peanuts (Arachis hypogaea) are the best characterized source of allergens, followed by tree nuts (Juglans regia, Prunus amygdalus, Corylus avellana, Carya illinoinensis, Anacardium occidentale, Pistacia vera, Bertholletia excels), wheat (Triticum aestivum), soybeans (Glycine max), and kidney beans (Phaseolus vulgaris). The prevalence of food allergies has risen significantly in recent years including chance of accidental exposure to such foods. In contrast, the standards of detection, diagnosis, and cure have not kept pace and unfortunately are often suboptimal. In this review, we mainly focus on the prevalence of allergies associated with peanut, tree nuts, wheat, soybean, and kidney bean, highlighting their physiological properties and functions as well as considering research directions for tailoring allergen gene expression. In particular, we discuss how recent advances in molecular breeding, genetic engineering, and genome editing can be used to develop potential low allergen food crops that protect consumer health.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Center of Excellence in Genomics and Systems Biology
Research Program : Asia
Uncontrolled Keywords: food safety, Food allergy, prevalence of allergies, food crops
Subjects: Others > Food and Nutrition
Others > Food Security
Depositing User: Mr Nagaraju T
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2024 06:32
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2024 06:32
Official URL:
Funders: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF)
Acknowledgement: S. P. acknowledges Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Government of India for the award of fellowship for a Ph.D.
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