Skip to main content

Food Allergies.

 Hey my People, I recently got the opportunity to work in a food biotech lab with allergens , and while doing so 

I found myself stumbled upon this horrific thought.

What if I could Die from a Kiss? Well for most of us this sounds far fetched from reality but if you are allergic to Peanuts and you kissed your partner who had peanuts right before kissing you, light out for you my friend. 

Food Allergies have been around for Decades, people have been suffering from them from time unknown. Just like it's origin , it’s mechanism is also unknown.  Researches and studies show that certain proteins trigger the reaction, but in order to learn about allergies let’s dig a little deeper.

Food allergies are usually caused by the big 8 (90% cases) :-




Tree nuts





but are not limited to these food products.

Peanut allergy is the most common allergy in the US affecting 1 in 40 children. Who knew that a harmless looking peanut butter jar could be life threatening to some. While it may not sound so bad but allergies have filled more ICU rooms than the COVID ever will. One bite of that tasty PB jelly sandwich and an allergic person can end up with symptoms like :-

  • Dizziness

  • Nasal congestion or trouble breathing 

  • Lightheadedness

  • Tingling 

  • Swelling of lips and food pipe

  • Hives

  • Itching 

  • Eczema 

Or in a more severe case an Anaphylaxis shock. 

At the moment we know of 400 plus proteins that cause allergies from over 170 foods . Shellfish tops the charts for causing maximum numbers of adult allergies. Yes you read it right , Adult allergies . Allergies can develop at any stage of life , you don’t have to be born with one .Food  Allergy can be defined as the immune response to certain proteins that we eat, even a tiny amount can be fatal. 

Food allergies are totally different from Food intolerance, intolerance usually occurs due to the lack of enzymes that help us digest certain foods but Food allergy is an immune response to certain proteins, to understand this let’s look closely to what happens when an allergy is triggered by Shellfish. Shellfish is a delicacy enjoyed around the world , but what causes the allergic reaction?  A protein by the name Tropomyosin . This protein is common in Shrimps and house mites . The moment this food allergen enters the body ( of an allergic person) the fighter cells of the body start treating Tropomyosin as pathogen or a germ. This takes place at molecular level and leads to IgE ( immune cells) interacting with food particles. This interaction leads to the release of Histamine ( culprit) from the mast cells Thus, we get Allergies.

Lately the number of allergic reactions are on the rise.

 Is it a better diagnosis or Is our food getting worse? Well nobody really knows where to throw the blame. Diagnosis technology has improved drastically in the last two decades and due to this doctors around the world have been able to help more people find out about their allergies and save many lives. New approaches to tackle the food allergies have been recommended by the doctors , where an allergic food is introduced to a child in the early stages of life in small quantities contrary to the earlier approach of steering as away from these allergens as possible .

At the same time food norms and Food process technology too has gotten better throughout the world , with companies manufacturing safer and better food. So where does the problem lie? 

A very popular hypothesis by the name of the Bygone hypothesis or the Hygiene hypothesis suggest that due to humans being too clean, we have given rise to these allergies. Our homes, lifestyles and food have changed drastically over the last decades. We have become more Hygienic and due to this we hardly encounter any germs or pathogens in our environment. This sometimes leads to the body confusing certain Proteins as harmful thus, triggering an immune response. This hypothesis is true to some extent as the number of food allergic reactions are far higher in developed nations ( USA, Canada ) compared to undeveloped countries ( India , Africa , Pakistan) .

Now another popular belief suggests that due to Gene Modification the number of cases are on the rise , but I beg to differ from the popular belief . Gene modification or GMO foods are usually made by inserting or removing a gene of interest . Great emphasis is laid on the research work and years are spent before launching a GM food in the market. Soy and corn  are the most genetically modified foods, if this belief was true then we would have seen the spike in soy and corn related allergies too, but sadly that’s not the case. To my best knowledge and understanding I think Gene modification is not the enemy, it is our ally in disguise. We can use Gene Modification in our favour, to employ the tools of GM and try to eliminate the allergen( protein) making gene from the food, but this idea is far from happening. My take on this would be to pay close attention to how you feel when you eat foods that are not a part of your staple, and do not neglect the signs your body throws at you.

Reference links:-

Food Allergies

Hygiene Hypothesis

Peanut allergies 


  1. Wowwwww, very useful information 👍👍 You really took out the facts from your research and put it in front of everyone who must know about food allergies.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Are Fruits vegan? - Shellac

  Shellac   If Eve was to walk in a super-store and be spellbound    by a shiny Apple that created all the problem , she sure will find herself picking the the apple coated with Shellac. Yes you read that right , Shellac . Almost all commercially available citrus fruits are coated with it . Most of us know of Shellac as a non - toxic polish that prevents the wood from loosing moisture. Shellac plays the same role in food industry too , it is often present in a lot of food commodities disguised as    "Candy Glaze” , “ Confectionery Glaze” , “ E904“ , “ Lac resin” and more .  Vegetables and fruits produce their own  wax, but once harvested and processed , which usually involves rinsing and washing ; the natural wax is partially or completely removed from the surface of the fruit.  This wax is of great use as it  inhibits the mould growth Slows down ripening  Prevents the loss of moisture from the fruit  Also acts as a barrier against microbes  Keeps fruit firm , fresh and plumpy  In

Creatine- it's use - ban by FSSAI and its impact

There are many advantages in starting fitness training at a young age It will help develop a positive impression of fitness training and develop the ability to cope with the changes experienced in adolescence, improve body image and maintain good health and lifelong healthy habits. Understanding your body and correct nutritional values are essential to anyone’s everyday living the younger you start understanding the importance of personal fitness, the longer you can prolong your life and sense of overall health. Bodybuilding can be detrimental to teen’s health if they practice it incorrectly or if they adopt common bodybuilding dietary and supplement practices wrongly, there is a way to use and safely use supplements which a lot of us do not know about . Teens tend to focus on what our so called GURU’s in Gym teach us. They target the young mind and give them the dream of an aesthetic and great looking body. The teens are tempted  by this thought and they tend to opt for shor

A Death Pin in your Brew

Ontario has just witnessed its first flurry and I was out in the  morning , chilly winds blowing through my hair with a cup of Chai tea in my hand and the words , ` There is something in the nature of tea that leads us into a world of quiet contemplation of life.’ - by   Lin Yutang   made so much  sense  .  It is the second most consumed drink , second only to the  water. Health benefits of tea have been highlighted in manuscripts , for years it was believed  that it caused a placebo effect-but as the modern day science unraveled tea , it has provided a basis for this belief.  Tea has been cultivated for years around the world not merely for its taste but also for  medicinal properties and every research published in scientific literature provides a stronger  evidence for these claims.  Tea is loaded with antioxidants and polyphenolic compounds ( catechins and theaflavins) that provide most if not all the health benefits . They have been shown to be beneficial in cardiovascular disease