Bioinformatics could help pinpoint allergy causing proteins enabling breeding of allergen free wheat
UK scientists are to analyse and demonstrate how bioinformatics could help pinpoint allergy causing proteins, enabling breeding of new strains of bread-making wheat by removing or replacing the allergenic proteins in gluten, the source of coeliac disease.
The scientists, based at Campden and Chorleywood Food Research Centre (CCFRA) in the UK, aim to show how the technology of bioinformatics (defined as "the collection, classification, storage and analysis of biochemical and biological information using computers"), can be harnessed to help food and drink manufacturers improve their products.
By examining ingredients protein structures they hope to be able to predict allergenics and their functionality, and from there replace or remove the certain allergenic proteins causing allergic reactions in consumers, for example removing or replacing the allergenic proteins in gluten so that they can breed new strains of bread-making wheat safe for coeliacs and wheat allergy sufferers.
However, while bioinformatics is progressing quickly it is still in its infancy for this specific role and therefore is some way from providing selective breeding of allergy friendly ingredients from previously allergenic items.