Almond allergens: molecular characterization, detection, and clinical relevance.

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Costa, J., I. Mafra, I. Carrapatoso, M.B.P.P. Oliveira, 2012. Almond allergens: molecular characterization, detection, and clinical relevance. J Agr Food Chem. 60:1337−1349.

Almond (Prunus dulcis) has been widely used in all sorts of food products (bakery, pastry, snacks), mostly due to its pleasant flavor and health benefits. However, it is also classified as a potential allergenic seed known to be responsible for triggering several mild to life-threatening immune reactions in sensitized and allergic individuals. Presently, eight groups of allergenic proteins have been identified and characterized in almond, namely, PR-10 (Pru du 1), TLP (Pru du 2), prolamins (Pru du 2S albumin, Pru du 3), profilins (Pru du 4), 60sRP (Pru du 5), and cupin (Pru du 6, Pru du γ-conglutin), although only a few of them have been tested for reactivity with almond-allergic sera. To protect sensitized individuals, labeling regulations have been implemented for foods containing potential allergenic ingredients, impelling the development of adequate analytical methods. This work aims to present an updated and critical overview of the molecular characterization and clinical relevance of almond allergens, as well as review the main methodologies used to detect and quantitate food allergens with special emphasis on almond.