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Headache Culprit in Wine Identified

Posted: Thursday, 18 November 2010 17:30

Headache Culprit in Wine Identified

Scientists have identified glycoprotein as the mysterious allergen in wine that causes headaches, stuffy noses, skin rash and other allergy symptoms with the discovery opening the doors to development of wine-making processes that minimize its formation and thus offer consumers low-allergenic wines, according to a new study that appears in the monthly Journal of Proteome Research published by American Chemical Society.

Sulphites have been generally considered as the culprits causing headache. Red wines having anti histamines are also the factors supposedly responsible. Wine allergies occur in an estimated 8 percent of people worldwide. But in reality, only 1 percent of those involve sulfites, sulfur-containing substances that winemakers add to wine to prevent spoilage; the phenomenon also occurs naturally and it is practically impossible to make wine without a certain amount.

But the wine components that trigger allergies in the remaining 7 percent are unclear. Giuseppe Palmisano and his colleagues suggest that glycoproteins - proteins coated with sugars produced naturally as grapes undergo the fermentation may be the real culprit.

Their analysis of Italian Chardonnay uncovered 28 glycoproteins, some identified for the first time. The team found that many of the grape glycoproteins had structures similar to known allergens, including proteins that trigger allergic reactions to ragweed and latex, according to the news report by ANI.

       

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