Species and Structure of Food Allergens: Epitopes and Cross-Reactivity

  • Linglin Fu
  • Bobby J. Cherayil
  • Haining Shi
  • Yanbo Wang
  • Yang Zhu


In recent years, with the improvement of food production and industrialization as well as the development of transgenic technology and the popularization of genetically modified food, the incidence of food allergic diseases is on the rise and has become a common chronic disease that endangers people’s physical and mental health, especially those of children’s. The World Health Organization (WHO) has listed food allergy as the sixth problem affecting people’s health, and the research on food allergen has become one of the public issues of global concern. This chapter will discuss multiple allergens in the “big eight” categories of food allergens. Biochemical characteristics associated with food allergens like the presence of multiple, linear IgE-binding epitopes seem to predominate among food allergens, more so than common structural features. Here, the recent studies on the identification of structure and potential epitopes of food allergens are also presented. Due to the high sequence homology and structural similarity of food allergens in different species, especially the major allergens, cross-reactivity is common; therefore a comprehensive introduction to the cross-reactivity among different origins of allergens is also reviewed.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Linglin Fu
    • 1
  • Bobby J. Cherayil
    • 2
  • Haining Shi
    • 2
  • Yanbo Wang
    • 1
  • Yang Zhu
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Food Science and BiotechnologyZhejiang Gongshang UniversityHanghzouChina
  2. 2.Mucosal Immunology and Biology ResearchHarvard Medical SchoolCharlestownUSA
  3. 3.Bioprocess Engineering Group, Agrotechnology and Food SciencesWageningen University and ResearchWageningenThe Netherlands

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