Newswise — Food scientists found that boiling shrimp for 10 minutes may reduce allergenic properties of total shrimp extracts, according to a new study in the Journal of Food Science, published by the Institute of Food Technologists.

Food allergies, especially shellfish allergies, can lead to severe reactions, including life-threatening anaphylaxis. Shellfish is the number one cause of food allergy in adults in the United States and is responsible for the majority of emergency department visits. More than 1 in 50 Americans have been diagnosed with shellfish allergies, so they tend to avoid it at all costs. Tropomyosin (TM), a major allergen in seafood that triggers allergic reactions is likely to be a better tool for the diagnosis of shellfish allergy than the total extract.

Researchers from Jimei University in Fujian China and the Agricultural Research Service in New Orleans, LA examined shrimp extracts from both raw and boiled shrimp, which were ground and then freeze-dried. The research showed that boiling shrimp may decrease the presence of antibodies that cause an allergic reaction.

“Understanding the allergenic properties of shrimp as affected by the cooking process is critical for shrimp allergic individuals,” said lead researcher Guang Ming Liu. “Our research shows that TM seems to be an effective antigen in diagnosing shrimp allergy.”

To receive a copy of the study, please contact Jeannie Houchins at [email protected].

About IFTThe Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) is a nonprofit scientific society. Our individual members are professionals engaged in food science, food technology, and related professions in industry, academia, and government. IFT’s mission is to advance the science of food, and our long-range vision is to ensure a safe and abundant food supply, contributing to healthier people everywhere.

For more than 70 years, the IFT has been unlocking the potential of the food science community by creating a dynamic global forum where members from more than 100 countries can share, learn, and grow. We champion the use of sound science across the food value chain through the exchange of knowledge, by providing education, and by furthering the advancement of the profession. IFT has offices in Chicago, Illinois, and Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit