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01.2011

Massachusetts Beverage Business

archivedHealth

ALLERGIC TO WINE? RELIEF IS ON THE WAY!

For those unfortunate souls who cannot drink wine due allergies, there just may be a light at the end of the tunnel. Scientists have identified the mysterious allergen in wine that causes headaches, stuffy noses, skin rash, and other allergy symptoms. The discovery could help winemakers in developing the first low allergenic vintages – reds and whites with less potential to trigger allergy symptoms. Wine allergies occur in an estimated 8 percent of people worldwide. Only 1 percent of those involve sulfites – the wine components that trigger allergies in the remaining 7 percent are unclear. Scientist Giuseppe Palmisano of the Univesity of Southern Denmark and his colleagues suggest that glycoproteins, proteins coated with sugars that are produced naturally as grapes ferment, may be the culprit. Their analysis of Italian Chardonnay uncovered 28 glycoproteins, some identified for the first time. The team found that many of the grape glycoproteins had structures similar to known allergens, including proteins that trigger allergic reactions to ragweed and latex. Next up, allergen-free wines! The new study appeared in ACS’ monthly journal of proteome research.

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