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Hypoallergenic Soy

April 10, 2008

Fermenting soy reduces its allergenicity by 99 percent.


Making a safer soy…. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Soy is a popular food product nowadays. You find it in everything from soymilk and veggie burgers to spaghetti and ice cream. But in the United States and Europe, it’s also on the list of top foods that people are allergic to.
That’s why researchers at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign have been working to make soy hypoallergenic. Food scientist Elvira de Mejia and colleagues have found that fermenting soy flour reduces the allergens by 99 percent.

ELVIRA DE MEJIA (University of Illinois):
This may still represent risk for some consumers. That’s why we need to optimize the reduction in the allergenicity in order to eliminate completely the risk of any allergic response.

De Mejia says that fermented soy flour might taste a bit different, but its flavor could be easily balanced out with other ingredients. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the science society.