I think most would agree that peanuts are a food that are fairly high on the allergen list.
I grew up eating peanut butter. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that, but my mother had a child almost every year, producing eight children in ten years. Peanut butter was quick, easy, satisfying and most of the children ate it without argument.
Many children today have full blown peanut allergies and those statistics continue to grow rapidly.
I often have these “what’s wrong with our food today” conversations with my father because it usually engenders lengthy “battles of scientific study” that are fun and mentally stimulating.
One of my continued arguments with my father, who was a PhD analytical chemist in food science for his entire carreer with the United States Army, is that if we would just embrace ancient sprouting techniques, we wouldn’t have most of the legume and grain reactions that we do today.
Well, I was mildly vindicated by an unlikely source.
My father purposefully walked into my kitchen several weeks ago and plopped his copy of Food Technology onto my kitchen table. It was open on page twelve and he points his finger at the article without saying a word.
“Germination Decreases Allergenicity of Peanuts” is the title of a 100 word article with a link to the research. The abstract was published ahead of print, but it is available in full text print online.
I didn’t know what to do. I could do my victory dance, or ask the question that most of us in the natural products industry ask which is, I wonder why the sudden interest in this ancient food technology? Is it because peanut sales are down? Is it because the peanut industry is truly concerned about the probable allergenicity of this legume?
We may never know for sure what has inspired the scientific inquiry, but I was content to see the early possibility of confirmation regading sprouting making this food safer to consume, especially since it is linked with some of my most pleasurable childhood memories.
You can click on this title to read the abstract in PubMed.
Beneficial Influence of Short-Term Germination on Decreasing Allergenicity of Peanut Proteins.