The Maillard reaction and food allergies: Is there a link?

Masako Toda, Monika Heilmann, Anne Ilchmann, Stefan Vieths

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Food allergies are abnormal responses to a food triggered by the immune system. The majority of allergenic foods are often subjected to thermal processing before consumption. The Maillard reaction is a non-enzymatic reaction between reducing sugars and compounds with free amino groups such as amino acids and proteins, and takes place during thermal processing and storage of foods. Among many other effects the reaction leads to modification of proteins with various types of glycation structures such as Nε-(carboxymethyl-) lysine (CML), pentosidine, pyrraline and methylglyoxal-H1, which are collectively called advanced glycation end-products (AGEs). Notably, evidence has accumulated that some glycation structures of AGEs function as immune epitopes. Here we discuss the possible involvement of food allergen AGEs in the pathogenesis of food allergies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-67
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Maillard reaction
  • food allergen
  • food allergy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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