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Peanut allergy is one of the most severe food allergies. It represents a serious health issue and a food safety issue in the developed country. The peanut allergy is triggered by allergenic peanut proteins and 17 such proteins have been identified. Among these proteins, Ara h 1, Ara h 2, Ara h 3 and Ara h 6 are defined as major allergens because of their high contents in peanut and their high allergenic potential. The eliciting dose of peanut allergy is low and the severity of allergic reaction increased with peanut protein dose. Due to the increasing applications of peanuts in food products, it is very difficult for people who are sensitive to peanut to completely avoid from exposure to peanut. Technologies that can reduce the allergenicity of peanuts will greatly contribute to the allergic safety of peanuts, reduce the severity of allergic reaction due to accidental exposure, and ease the stress of individuals who are allergic to peanuts. Although many methods have been proposed to reduce allergenicity or immunoreactivity of peanut and other food protein, enzymatic treatment is a promising because it is safer and practical although this method can not completely desensitize peanut allergens. This review covered the characteristics of peanut allergy, methods of allergenicity evaluation, and effects of proteolytic hydrolysis on the allergenicity of peanut protein, peanut flour and peanut kernels.
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