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Soy allergens reduced by fermentationConsumption of soy has many health benefits: it is a good source of high-quality protein, B vitamins, fiber, essential fatty acids and phytochemicals that may help prevent chronic diseases, including heart disease, some cancers, osteoporosis and diabetes. However, about 0.5 percent of the population suffer from soy allergy and increase the number of amino acids and this figure can even rise because more people consume soy products. Food allergy affects about 3 percent of the adult population and up to 8 percent of infants. Food allergy is a reaction of the immune system toward food proteins. It is as an immunological based adverse reaction in response to dietary allergens. Small regions in the allergenic proteins provoke an allergenic response in IgE antibodies in mast cells and basophiles, followed by the release of inflammatory mediators such as histamine.
Fermentation was carried out on cracked soybeans inoculated with Aspergillus oryzae, Rhizopus oryzae and Bacillus subtilis or in a soybean flour suspension fermented with bacteria naturally present in soybeans or by inoculation with Lactobacillus plantarum. Of all the microorganisms tested, Lactobacillus plantarum showed the highest reduction in immunoreactivity: 96 to 99 percent. Molds grown on cracked soybeans showed a reduced the immunoreactivity by about 67 percent. Fermentation by molds showed weaker efficacy to eliminate immunoreactive proteins than bacterial proteolysis, probably because of the slower growth rate of the molds during the fermentation process.
The scientist hope that the fermentation conditions can be further optimized to produce zero-tolerance allergens.
Source: Frias J, Song YS, Martínez-Villaluenga C, González de Mejia E, Vidal-Valverde C. "Immunoreactivity and Amino Acid Content of Fermented Soybean Products". J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Jan 9.