Florida Researcher Uses UV Rays to Zap Allergens From Peanuts

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of South Florida and help keep the future of New Times free.

Are you tired of signs everywhere saying "This cookie/ice cream/coffee/hamburger/goat stew has been processed in a plant that uses peanuts"?

So are we, which is why we got so jazzed up about a new technique developed by a University of Florida researcher that might just get rid of peanut allergies forever.

According to The Southeast Farm Press, "Wade Yang, an assistant professor in UF's food science and human nutrition department, used pulsed ultraviolet light, or PUV, to reduce the allergenic potential of peanuts by up to 90 percent".

The pulsed light changes the peanut allergens into something the human body can't identify. If our body can't identify the peanut as an allergic threat, it won't produce histamines, those pesky chemicals released by our immune system that trigger sneezing, itching and rashes.

So far, Yang's procedures have reduced the allergens in peanut extract and peanut butter. Next stop...whole peanuts.  His goal is to prevent the allergy in peanuts (and, presumably,  other top food allergans like shellfish, milk, eggs, tree nuts, fish, soy, and wheat) before they reach us, thereby reducing (or eliminating) the need for antihistimines.

According to The National Peanut Board, about four percent of adults and four - six percent of children in the U.S. have food allergies. Allergic reactions can range from rashes to anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction that can lead to death.  


Follow Clean Plate Charlie Facebook on Twitter: @CleanPlateBPB.

Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.