Scope: Roasting rather than boiling and Maillard modifications may modulate peanut allergenicity. We investigated how these factors affect the allergenic properties of a major peanut allergen, Ara h 1.
Methods and results: Ara h 1 was purified from either raw (N-Ara h 1) or roasted (R-Ara h 1) peanuts. Boiling (100°C 15 min; H-Ara h 1) resulted in a partial loss of Ara h 1 secondary structure and formation of rod-like branched aggregates with reduced IgE-binding capacity and impaired ability to induce mediator release. Glycated Ara h 1 (G-Ara h 1) formed by boiling in the presence of glucose behaved similarly. However, H- and G-Ara h1 retained the T-cell reactivity of N-Ara h 1. R-Ara h 1 was denatured, comprised compact, globular aggregates, and showed no evidence of glycation but retained the IgE-binding capacity of the native protein.
Conclusion: Ara h 1 aggregates formed by boiling were morphologically distinct from those formed by roasting and had lower allergenic activity. Glycation had no additional effect on Ara h 1 allergenicity compared with heating alone. Taken together with published data on the loss of Ara h 2/6 from boiled peanuts, this supports the hypothesis that boiling reduces the allergenicity of peanuts.