Plant Foods for Human Nutrition

, Volume 67, Issue 4, pp 430–441 | Cite as

Impact of Thermal Processing on Legume Allergens

  • Alok Kumar Verma
  • Sandeep Kumar
  • Mukul Das
  • Premendra D. Dwivedi
Original Paper


Food induced allergic manifestations are reported from several parts of the world. Food proteins exert their allergenic potential by absorption through the gastrointestinal tract and can even induce life threatening anaphylaxis reactions. Among all food allergens, legume allergens play an important role in induction of allergy because legumes are a major source of protein for vegetarians. Most of the legumes are cooked either by boiling, roasting or frying before consumption, which can be considered a form of thermal treatment. Thermal processing may also include autoclaving, microwave heating, blanching, pasteurization, canning, or steaming. Thermal processing of legumes may reduce, eliminate or enhance the allergenic potential of a respective legume. In most of the cases, minimization of allergenic potential on thermal treatment has generally been reported. Thus, thermal processing can be considered an important tool by indirectly prevent allergenicity in susceptible individuals, thereby reducing treatment costs and reducing industry/office/school absence in case of working population/school going children. The present review attempts to explore various possibilities of reducing or eliminating allergenicity of leguminous food using different methods of thermal processing. Further, this review summarizes different methods of food processing, major legumes and their predominant allergenic proteins, thermal treatment and its relation with antigenicity, effect of thermal processing on legume allergens; also suggests a path that may be taken for future research to reduce the allergenicity using conventional/nonconventional methods.


Thermal processing Legume allergens Neoantigen. IgE-binding proteins 



Instantaneous controlled pressure-drop (detente instantanee controlee)


Sodium dodecyl sulphate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis


Molecular weight



Thanks are due to SIP-08 of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi for financial support. We are thankful to Sakshi Mishra for editorial assistance. Alok Kumar Verma and Sandeep Kumar are thankful to CSIR, New Delhi for the award of their Senior Research Fellowships. This is CSIR-IITR manuscript # 3029.

Conflicts of interest

The authors have declared no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alok Kumar Verma
    • 1
  • Sandeep Kumar
    • 1
  • Mukul Das
    • 1
  • Premendra D. Dwivedi
    • 1
  1. 1.Food, Drug and Chemical Toxicology GroupCSIR- Indian Institute of Toxicology ResearchLucknowIndia

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