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J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Aug 9;54(16):5917-23.

Effect of postharvest storage on the expression of the apple allergen Mal d 1.

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  • 1Institute of Food Research, Norwich Research Park, Colney, UK.


Consumption of fresh apples can cause allergy in susceptible individuals. A competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) has been developed to determine Mal d 1 levels in apple pulp using a monoclonal antibody (BIP-1). The ELISA was able to rank ten cultivars according to their Mal d 1 content (between 3.8 and 72.5 mug/g pulp). For the first time, it has been demonstrated that growing conditions and postharvest storage, using three different treatments over a 5 month period in 2 consecutive years, increase Mal d 1 expression at a translational and transcriptional level (3.5- and 8.5-fold under controlled atmosphere storage). Expression of three major Mal d 1 isoforms was observed by real-time polymerase chain reaction over the 5 month storage period, and Mal d 1.02 was the most highly expressed isoform. In conclusion, Mal d 1 gene expression was significantly increased during modified atmosphere storage. Individuals suffering from birch pollen-apple allergy syndrome might experience fewer problems consuming freshly picked apples.

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