Influence of the Maillard Reaction on the Allergenicity of Food Proteins and the Development of Allergic Inflammation

  • Masako TodaEmail author
  • Michael Hellwig
  • Thomas Henle
  • Stefan Vieths
Allergens (R. K. Bush & S. Vieths, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Allergens


Purpose of Review

The Maillard reaction (MR) is a non-enzymatic reaction between reducing sugars and compounds with free amino groups such as proteins and takes place during thermal processing and storage of foods. This review aims to discuss potential effects of dietary MR products on the pathological mechanisms of allergic diseases.

Recent Findings

Since the MR leads to modification of proteins with various types of glycation structures, the impact of the MR on the immunogenicity and potential allergenicity of food proteins in many allergenic foods has been assessed. In addition, recent studies have suggested that the MR products, in particular “advanced glycation end products (AGEs),” contained in the diet may be involved in the development of chronic inflammation by acting as inflammatory components and affecting the gut microbiome.


This review found that the biological, immunological, and allergic properties of dietary MR products are diverse due to the complexity of the MR.


Maillard reaction Food allergens Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) Pattern recognition receptors Gut microbiome 



Advanced glycation end product




Chronic kidney disease


Damage-associated molecular pattern


Dendritic cells


Maillard reaction


Pattern recognition receptor


The receptor for the advanced glycation end products


Short chain fatty acid


Scavenger receptor


Type 1 diabetes


Type 2 diabetes



This study is supported by Kieikai Research Foundation and Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Core-to-Core Program (A. Advanced Research Networks entitled “Establishment of international agricultural immunology research-core for a quantum improvement in food safety".

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest relevant to this manuscript.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masako Toda
    • 1
    Email author
  • Michael Hellwig
    • 2
  • Thomas Henle
    • 2
  • Stefan Vieths
    • 3
  1. 1.Laboratory of Food and Biomolecular Science, Graduate School of Agricultural ScienceTohoku UniversitySendaiJapan
  2. 2.Chair of Food ChemistryTechnische Universität DresdenDresdenGermany
  3. 3.Research Group “Molecular Allergology”, Paul-Ehrlich-InstitutLangenGermany

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