Cooking can reduce the allergenicity of egg whites

A study carried out by the universities of Shenzhen and Zhengzhou, China, affiliated with the McMaster University, Canada, and the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, USA, has looked at the effects of processing hen’s egg whites on the allergenicity of its proteins.

Hen’s eggs were cooked using traditional Chinese methods – steaming, boiling in water, frying, spiced-tea boiling and tea boiling. The cooked egg white was then analysed and revealed that the proteins had degraded after it had been spiced-tea boiled and tea boiled. The allergenic potential of the proteins was not greatly reduced by boiling in water or frying. Tests on egg white-sensitised mice confirmed that the steamed, spiced-tea boiled and tea-boiled eggs induced a weaker immune response than raw, fried or water-boiled egg white.

The researchers conclude that steaming, spicing or tea-boiling an egg can weaken the allergenicity of the egg proteins.

Source: International Archives of Allergy and Immunology

First published in September 2012


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