Low-allergen wines could stifle sniffles and sneezes in millions of wine drinkers
A discovery about the precise nature of allergens in wine has opened a door to the development of less allergenic wines. Giuseppe Palmisano and colleagues from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Southern Denmark, and CRA, Agricultural Research Council, Research Unit for Table Grapes and Wine Growing in Mediterranean Environment, Turi (BA), Italy have published their results in the Journal of Preotome Research.
Wine allergies occur in about 8% of people worldwide, but only about 1% of those can be attributed to the presence of the sulphites that occur naturally in the wine and are also added to wines to prevent spoilage. Past studies of wine had suggested that glycoproteins, sugar-coated proteins produced as the grapes ferment, might be to blame, and the researchers have found that many of the 28 glycoproteins they have found, some identified for the first time, have very similar structures to known allergens that trigger reactions to latex and ragweed. The identification of these glycoproteins could allow winemakers to develop low-allergen wines, thus relieving the discomfort of some 500 million wine drinkers worldwide!
Source: American Chemical Society
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First Published 2010