"Scientists once thought that any protein could potentially become an allergen. In the current study, however, using a computer program to categorize 129 common plant food allergens, structural biologist John Jenkins of the British Institute of Food Research (IFR) and colleagues found that 65% of these proteins fell into just four structural families. The study used the protein families defined by Pfam, a database of protein structures housed at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in the United Kingdom.
The results suggest that certain protein structures contribute to plants' allergenicity, says coauthor Clare Mills, head of the allergy research team at IFR. The next step is finding out which structures contribute, and how they do so."
Food Navigator Bioinformatics may isolate food allergy proteins
"A team of UK scientists will analyse and demonstrate how bioinformatics could help food companies improve their products, from pin-pointing allergy-causing proteins to identifying the cause of batch spoilage."
"Such techniques offer obvious opportunities for product development, but could also help producers meet upcoming EU regulations on allergens in food. From 25 November this year, the Commission will require firms to declare on labels whether the product inside contains potential food allergens."
“Bioinformatics will be at the core of biology in the 21st century. In fields ranging from structural biology to genomics to biomedical imaging, ready access to data and analytical tools are fundamentally changing the way investigators in the life sciences conduct research and approach problems. Complex, computationally intensive biological problems are now being addressed and promise to significantly advance our understanding of biology and medicine. No biological discipline will be unaffected by these technological breakthroughs.”BIOINFORMATICS IN THE 21st CENTURY
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