Allergenic potential and enzymatic resistance of buckwheat

  • Lee, Sujin ;
  • Han, Youngshin ;
  • Do, Jeong-Ryong ;
  • Oh, Sangsuk
  • Received : 2012.09.25
  • Accepted : 2012.12.11
  • Published : 2013.02.01


Buckwheat is known as a health food but is one of the major food allergens triggering potentially fatal anaphylaxis in Asia, especially in Japan and Korea. This study was conducted to investigate the characteristic of enzymatic resistance of buckwheat protein and allergenic potential. Enzymatic resistance of buckwheat protein was performed with in vitro digestibility test in simulated gastric fluid (SGF), pH 1.2, using pepsin and simulated intestinal fluid (SIF) using chymotrypsin. Reactivity of buckwheat proteins to human IgE was performed using six allergic patients sensitized to buckwheat. Buckwheat's IgE levels were measured using the Phadia UniCAP-system. Buckwheat protein, 16 kDa, still remained after 30 min treatment of pepsin on SDS-PAGE. Even though 16 kDa almost disappeared after 60 min treatment, two out of the six buckwheat patients' sera showed reactivity to hydrolysate after 60 min treatment, indicating that allergenicity still remained. In simulated intestinal fluid (SIF) using chymotrypsin, buckwheat protein, 24 kDa, showed resistance to hydrolysis with chymotrypsin on SDS-PAGE, and still had allergenicity based on the result of ELISA. Our results suggest that buckwheat proteins have strong resistance to enzyme degradation. This may be attributed in part to the allergenic potential of buckwheat. Further study should be continued regarding buckwheat allergy.




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Supported by : National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF)