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Food Allergy

The prevalence of food allergy is increasing worldwide. To protect sensitive consumers, it is imperative to identify the culprit allergens, characterize their molecular biochemistry, and develop reliable allergen detection methods.

A review of food allergy:

A perspective on food allergen epitope mapping:

Sialic acid and food allergy:

Protocols for allergen purification and linear IgE-binding epitope characterization

Allergen Detection

Given existing public health concerns for nut allergies, we have developed and validated monoclonal antibody-based enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) for detection of almond, pecan, and pistachio in foods.

ELISAs for almond:,

ELISA for pistachio:

ELISA for pecan:

Protocols for ELISA validation:

Allergen Characterization

We have found that amandin, a major storage protein and allergen in almond, is stable toward processing and storage, and can serve as a reliable target protein for robust detection of almond. We have reported IgE cross-reactivity between amandin and a homologous 11S legumin in mahaleb cherry seed, indicating the cherry seed is a potential cross-reactive food ingredient for almond-allergic patients. Besides almond, we have also studied how germination affect immunoreactivity of black gram and mung bean vicilin.

Effect of processing and food matrix on amandin immunoreactivity: high pressure processing, Maillard reaction, processing and storage, phenolic compounds,

Cross-reactivity with other Prunus seeds: Prunus spp., Prunus mahaleb

Effect of germination on vicilin immunoreactivity:

Effect of temperature and pH on immunoreactivity of soy agglutinin:

Allergen Prediction

Using pretrained protein language models, we have developed robust models for allergenic protein/peptide prediction. The developed pLM4Alg models have achieved state-of-the-art performance. Moreover, pLM4Alg is the first model capable of handling prediction tasks involving residue-missed sequences and sequences containing nonstandard amino acid residues. To facilitate easy access, a user-friendly web server has been established.