Review Article - Journal of Food Science and Nutrition (2018) Volume 1, Issue 1
Using food science and immunology to hatch a better understanding of egg allergies.
Egg allergies are a common food allergy and like all food allergies, are increasing in prevalence in the general population. Egg proteins are modified significantly from the raw or native form to the cooked form. These changes in conformation and binding sites present unique challenges when diagnosing and treating egg allergies. IgE and IgG testing of blood serum as well as skin prick tests in conjunction with oral food challenges can be used to perform comprehensive diagnostic egg allergy testing on an individual. One egg protein, ovomucoid, presents a specific complication in that it does not denature easily upon exposure to heat and digestion. An allergy to ovomucoid needs to be treated differently than an allergy to other egg proteins which denature more easily when exposed to heat and digestion. An individual who is allergic to ovomucoid is less likely to be able to consume cooked or raw egg or to outgrow their egg allergy. Identifying the specific protein(s) which elicit an allergic response is crucial when diagnosing and treating egg allergies.Author(s): Heidi Rowles