john simpson

Could Hypoallergenic Wine Be on the Horizon?

Blog Post created by john simpson on Nov 19, 2010

Taken from Time Magazine
"Cheers! Could Hypoallergenic Wine Be on the  Horizon?"


As food allergens go, wine is easier to avoid than,  say, wheat. But there are some 500 million people worldwide — that's about 8% —  who will have to sit out toasts this holiday season because of wine allergies.  Lucky for them, however, researchers just got a step closer to figuring out what  causes those allergies, and perhaps, how to make wine that everyone can drink.  Symptoms of wine allergy can range from headaches and stuffy nose to skin rash.  About 1% of allergies relate to sulfites, a type of sulfur-containing  preservative that winemakers add to wine. But the triggers of the remaining 7%  of wine allergies remain a mystery. One culprit may be glycoproteins, a type of  protein coated with sugar that develops during the grape-fermentation process.  Now a new study in the Journal of Proteome Research supports  the theory by showing that many of the 28 glycoproteins found in an Italian  chardonnay had a similar cellular structure to known allergens, including the  proteins that cause reactions to ragweed and latex. Molecular biologist Giuseppe  Palmisano and his team are hoping that their work on the glycoproteins — many of  which were identified for the first time — will help lead to the development of  a glycoprotein-free wine.