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Novel Sources of Food Allergens

Lee Palmer, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Technological advancement and globalization have led to the spread of foods to countries where the food does not yet have a documented history of consumption, in other words, novel foods. Novel foods also encompass truly novel foods, foods that have been processed in a novel manner, and novel means of exposure. With novel foods comes the potential of food allergens that pose an uncharacterized risk to those with food allergies. Food allergies are an increasingly important facet of public health. Therefore, a deeper understanding of novel foods as well as methods to evaluate consumers’ potential risk is necessary. Literature reviews and experimental evaluations leveraging liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry were used to explore the risks posed by novel sources of food allergens. Subject sources of allergens included Acheta domesticus, the house cricket, Tenebrio molitor, the yellow mealworm; extensively thermally processed walnut hulls and peanuts, as well as smoke from the wood of tree nut trees, and vapor from E-cigarette liquids. Novel methodologies to interpret complex mass spectrometry data were developed, allowing resultant information to be used in the assessment of allergenic risk. The methodologies developed in this research expand upon the utility of mass spectrometry to evaluate potentially allergenic proteins from poorly characterized sources. Broader characterization of the hazards and risks posed by food allergens permits stakeholders to be more adequately informed regarding the risks they wish to undertake.

Subject Area

Food Science

Recommended Citation

Palmer, Lee, "Novel Sources of Food Allergens" (2021). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI28419159.