BACKGROUND: Peanut allergy is one of the most serious food allergies, and Ara h 2 is one of the most important peanut allergens as it is recognised by serum immunoglobulin E from more than 90% of peanut-allergic individuals. Dynamic high-pressure microfluidisation has been widely used in food processing as a new technology. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of high-pressure microfluidisation on the antigenicity and structure of Ara h 2. Extracted peanut allergen Ara h 2 was treated under a continuous pressure array of 60, 90, 120, 150 and 180 MPa. Immunoreactivity was measured by indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay with rabbit polyclonal antibodies. Secondary structure was analysed by circular dichroism. Surface hydrophobicity and sulfhydryl groups were assessed via fluorescence and UV absorption spectra respectively.
RESULTS: High-pressure microfluidisation treatment decreased the antigenicity of peanut allergen Ara h 2, changed its secondary structure and increased its UV absorption intensity and surface hydrophobicity.
CONCLUSION: The change in conformation contributed to the decrease in antigenicity of Ara h 2, and the spatial conformation of peanut allergen Ara h 2 plays a critical role in its antigenicity. Copyright © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry