Researchers Work to Develop Allergen–free Eggs

AUSTRALIA - Australian researchers are working on developing allergy-free eggs to eat and be used in vaccines.
calendar icon 16 March 2012
clock icon 3 minute read

There are 40 proteins in egg whites, four of which are allergenic.

ABC News reports that the researchers will switch off the allergens in all four, creating a hypoallergenic egg that can produce chickens that lay allergy-free eggs.

Associate Professor Cenk Suphioglu, from Deakin's School of Life and Environmental Sciences, says they are not producing genetically-modified chickens as part of this research.

He says it is a completely novel approach to the problem.

"We are simply modifying the proteins within the egg whites to produce chickens which lay allergy-free eggs," he said.

"Previous egg allergy research has cloned the egg white allergen genes, but no-one has gone as far as to make the proteins non-allergenic."

The research is a joint venture between the CSIRO and Deakin University, and is being led by the CSIRO's Professor Tim Doran, himself the parent of an allergic child.

Professor Doran says the research has the potential to help thousands of families who have to monitor exposure to eggs.

"The effect of this type of allergy on the whole family is immense," he said.

"In many cases all food has to be prepared in the home as you can't guarantee that food purchased outside the home won't have traces of egg white.

"We recently did a long-haul flight with the family and had to prepare all meals to take on the plane."

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