- Investigates the chemistry and bioactivity of the peanut as a food ingredient
- Clarifies the causes of health effects in the human diet, both positive and negative
- Presents technical strategies to increase peanuts’ value and reduce risks
With the peanut representing an ever-increasing component of the global diet, the current book presents a scientific analysis of the two main and dichotomous properties of peanuts: allergenicity and health. The volume provides a technical explanation of the bioactive nutrients and dietary benefits of the peanut. It also reviews and analyzes the evidence implicating peanuts as a food allergen. Moving beyond nutritional science to food technology and engineering, the book demonstrates how genetic, pre-harvest, post-harvest and processing technologies can be applied to increase the nutraceutical value of peanuts and mitigate their risks.
DEStech – :
Acta Alimentaria, Vol. 45 (3), p. 457 (2016)
Peanuts: Bioactives and allergens
N.A. LEE, G.C. WRIGHT and R.C.N. RACHAPUTI (Eds)
DEStech Publications, Inc., 439 North Duke Street, Lancaster, PA 17602-4967, U.S.A
ISBN 978-1-60595-036-5, 382 pages
Peanut is widely produced in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Peanut kernels are
utilized as major source of cooking oil in developing countries and used in snack food
industries in developed countries due to growing trends of vegetarianism and demand for
healthy food. There is an increasing expectation in the food and nutrition science and also
from consumers to understand the physiological importance of peanut ingredients representing
a growing importance in global diet. However, food safety concerns related to aflatoxin
contamination and allergenic proteins of peanuts have become mayor public health issues
This current book presents a science based approach concerning the health related
beneficial effects and allergenic risk of peanut as food ingredient. The volume provides a
review on bioactive nutrients and their dietary benefi ts and analyses the evidence implicating
peanuts as a food allergen. Beside the nutritional science, food technology and engineering
approaches are emerging, and the book demonstrates how genetic, pre-harvest, post-harvest,
and processing technologies can be applied to increase peanuts’ value and to reduce risks.
The book includes 13 chapters edited and compiled by contributions of well-recognized
scientists coming from 5 countries: U.S.A. (11), Australia (13), Canada (2), The Netherlands
(1), and Indonesia (1).
Chapter 1 provides a comprehensive and up-to-date introduction and review of both
beneficial and allergenic compounds present in peanut kernels, including current information
on bioengineering and allergen management. Chapters 2–5 in this book discuss various
aspects of peanut that make it nutritionally important, such as the role of fatty acids in
prevention and treatment of certain chronic diseases in humans, the perspectives of
phytoalexins and their application to human health, antioxidant capacity of peanut and its
antioxidant components. Chapter 9 deals with the current status and future prospect of
breeding cultivars with enhanced functional food traits, including the chemical composition
of peanut and genotypic variation in mayor phytochemicals. Chapters 7–13 provide science
based overviews on allergenic peanut proteins and risk management strategies including such
important issues as the mechanism of peanut allergy and characteristics of peanut allergens,
risk analysis for peanut allergens, industry allergen management and current initiatives in
peanut based food manufacturing, immunoanalytical and LC-NS/MS techniques based detection
of peanut allergens, breeding vs bioengineering technologies for development of hypoallergenic
peanuts, and current management of peanut allergy using oral immunotherapy.
DEStech – :
Peanuts are an important source of food, animal feed and oil world-wide, their value marred only by an allergic reaction to certain of their proteins, a reaction that is increasing in
frequency for no clear reason. Some 1–3% of people are affected globally. In Australia, the estimate is around 0.2% of children. The allergy is not one that is outgrown. The condition
is very distressing and potentially life-threatening.
Peanuts, Bioactives and Allergens is a splendid compilation of essays put together to present current understanding and research on aspects of the composition and allergenic proteins of peanuts. It covers a broad range of subjects in commendable detail, beginning with the fatty acids of peanut oil glycerides and finishing with possibilities for oral immunotherapy for allergy sufferers. The authors come from various organisations and departments, Australia being well represented.
There are 13 chapters, each written by at least two authors. Some authors appear more than once, a number are also the editors. Each chapter stands alone but follows a logical
progression. The chapters are well-referenced; Chapter 2, for example, has 222 references. Good use is made of summary tables. Some of the aspects discussed are subject to very active
research, so the reader may have to top up the knowledge presented, but for any scientist or student wishing to gain an appreciation of the state of play in the subject fields, this will
be an invaluable point of reference. A minor criticism might be made: with more rigorous editing, particularly of syntax in Chapters 1 and 2, the book would have been easier to read.
The fatty acids, phytoalexins (substances produced in response to stress) and antioxidants present in peanuts are explored in detail along with their current and potential health
effects. Analytical issues with these groups make interesting reading; for example, the ‘result’ for antioxidant concentration depends on the selected method(s) for extraction and hydrolysis
as well as on all the details of the test parameters. A timely comment reminds us that correlation is not causation: ‘Studies correlated total dietary fat with breast cancer, but more
extensive studies showed that the association was in fact with trans monounsaturated fats’.
Chapter 6 considers general approaches to breeding for enhanced functional food traits, with special reference to peanuts. Breeding has already produced cultivars that have high oleic content in the fatty acids, but there are many other compounds of potential interest present, including hypo allergenic proteins. Possibilities of breeding versus bioengineering to achieve hypoallergenicity are examined in Chapter 12.
Chapter 7 assesses the allergenic proteins in great detail; 17 have been identified to date, of which four seem chiefly responsible. They display unique characteristics such as thermal stability and resistance to proteolytic hydrolysis. It is likely the Maillard reactions that add to flavour add also to allergenicity!
The next chapter discusses very clearly the regulatory approaches to disclosure of allergens and to ascribing limits, as well as the potential for risk analysis to inject some science into arbitrary decisions. Even the compulsory declaration of the presence of known allergens has the problem of over-stating the risk and hence dismissal by the consumer. The complexities of assessing and combining the probabilities of consumer uptake from eating habits with the no-effect level (which can vary up to five orders of magnitude among individuals) are severe.
Later chapters cover industry approaches to containing cross-contamination of foods by allergens and the rather daunting challenges of immunological assays. Next are the possibilities of utilising linked mass spectrometry for highly specific characterisation and measurement of individual proteins. To date, the rewards here have been more in the area of defining reference substances than providing a tool for routine assays.
Finally, work to desensitise allergy sufferers is explored. At the time of last citation (2011), oral treatment had been demonstrated to succeed, though not without treatment
difficulties, and many aspects such as tolerance and longer-term side-effects remain to be investigated.
Bruce Graham FRACI CChem
Chemistry in Australia, Nov. 2016