As a kid no one I knew had a peanut allergy, now it’s one of the leading food allergies among adults and children. You would think it’d be easy to avoid eating anything with peanuts, aka peanut butter, straight up peanuts, etc., but those pesky little legumes can hide in a variety of foods without you even knowing they’re there. While some kids will outgrow their peanut allergies other more severe cases have to live their lives in fear of the killer peanut, but there’s hope.
A hypoallergenic peanut sounds ridiculous, but it would an incredible solution to this potentially deadly allergy. Dr. Jianmei Yu of the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University has developed a way to treat roasted peanuts with enzymes that already exist in food processing, thus no genetic modification. The result? A peanut with undetectable levels of allergen Ara h 1 and a 98 percent reduction in allergen Ara h 2.
More importantly, how do the peanuts taste? According to Dr. Yu they taste just like ordinary roasted peanuts and has high hopes that these treated peanuts can be used for flours and other food products allowing for safer consumption by people with allergies. Allergy-free peanut butter maybe?
Yu also hopes these innovative peanuts can be utilized by doctors for exposure therapy, which has been known to alter DNA in patients who become allergy-free from the therapy. Isn’t science awesome?