Food chemists have created harmless eggs for allergy sufferers. Picture: Zaphod,
Vorlesen German food chemists have developed a method that makes chicken eggs compatible even for people with chicken egg allergy. By heating and adding enzymes, they reduced the amount of allergenic proteins by a factor of one hundred. In the test with the blood serum of eleven allergy sufferers no defense reaction could be determined thereafter, report Sabine Hildebrandt of the University of Hamburg and her colleagues. The method also does not affect the taste or consistency of the egg mass. Chicken egg allergy is uncommon in adults, but among children and adolescents it is one of the most common intolerances. It can cause severe abdominal pain and rashes and even death in the most severe cases. The allergy is triggered by a defense reaction to certain proteins in the egg, which mainly lysozyme, ovomucoid, ovalbumin and ovotransferrin belong. Since these four proteins make up eighty percent of the total amount of protein in the egg, doctors recommend that their patients abstain from allergy to eggs and egg products as much as possible.

In order to make the nutrients in the egg accessible to allergy sufferers, the scientists around Hildebrandt have now developed a procedure that eliminates the allergenic proteins. To do this, they first heated the contents of chicken eggs several times to break up the structure of the egg whites. In this way they were able to neutralize the lysozyme and ovotransferrin in the first step. Subsequently, the chemists added several different enzyme cocktails several times in order to "eat away" the remaining allergenic proteins from the enzymes. When Hildebrandt and her colleagues tested the egg mass after nine such procedural steps with the help of the blood serum of egg allergy sufferers, they could no longer detect an allergic reaction.

Sabine Hildebrandt (University of Hamburg) et al .: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, online pre-publication, DOI: 10.1021 / jf0725981 ddp / Livia Rasche


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