Molecular characterization of allergens in raw and processed kiwifruit

Francesca Uberti, Elena Peñas, Yuri Manzoni, Chiara di Lorenzo, Cinzia Ballabio, Alessandro Fiocchi, Luigi Terracciano, Patrizia Restani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The prevalence of allergy to kiwifruit is increasing in Europe since the last two decades. Different proteins have been identified as kiwifruit allergens; even though with geographic differences, Act d 1, a cysteine protease protein of 30 kDa, and Act d 2, a thaumatin-like protein of 24 kDa, are normally considered the most important. The aim of this study was (i) to identify at molecular level the sensitization pattern in a group of well-characterized patients allergic to kiwifruit and (ii) to assess the role of technological treatments on kiwifruit allergenic potential. Methods: The differences in the pattern of antigenicity between fresh and processed kiwifruit were evaluated by both immunoelectrophoretic techniques and clinical tests. Results: In the group of patients included in this study, three proteins were identified as major allergens in fresh kiwifruit, as the specific sensitization was present in ≥50% of the subjects. These proteins corresponded to actinidin (Act d 1), pectin methyl aldolase (Act d 6), and thaumatin-like protein (Act d 2). Kiwellin (Act d 5) and proteins of Bet v 1 family (Act d 8/act d 11) were also recognized as minor allergens. Immunoreactivity was totally eliminated by industrial treatments used for the production of kiwifruit strained derivative. Conclusions: In this group of allergic children, the technological treatments used in the production of kiwifruit strained product reduced drastically the allergenic potential of kiwifruit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-144
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Allergy and Immunology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2015


  • Allergy
  • Immunoelectrophoretic techniques
  • Kiwifruit
  • Technological treatments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Immunology
  • Medicine(all)


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