This research project examines the hypothesis that certain foods are more likely to cause allergic reactions because of their proteolytic (enzyme) activity.
<p>The study will examine a number of characteristics of certain foods, including the proteolytic activity, the ability to cause the gut lining to become 'leaky' and the ability to stimulate production of inflammatory mediators (chemicals released in the body during the course of an allergic reaction).
<p>These markers will act as a measure of their tendency to cause allergy. Foods that will be included in this study are banana, kiwi fruit, mango, peach, pineapple, celery, potato, tomato, egg, almond, walnut, cashew nuts, peanuts, milk and cheese.
Although allergic individuals can react to a wide range of foods, the majority of reactions are often caused by just a small number of foods.
<p>It is not clear why some foods cause allergic reactions, while others do not. One theory is that certain foods are more likely to cause allergic reactions because of their proteolytic activity.
<p>Find more about this project and other FSA food safety-related projects at the <a href="http://www.food.gov.uk/science/research/" target="_blank">Food Standards Agency Research webpage</a>.