Washington: Italian scientists and researchers are trying to develop a hypo-allergenic apple, which could provide a new frontier for the genetically modified food market.
While apples rarely cause the same intense allergic reaction as shellfish or peanuts, they often cause irritation for those allergic to birch pollen or cause blisters on the tongue or lips.
The large collective working on the project, called the Ager Melo Group, consists of allergists, molecular biologists and plant physiologists working to breed new types of apples that would promote good nutrition and health, ABC News reported.
Dr. Alessandro Botton, a plant physiologist at the Department of Agronomy, Food, Natural Resources, Animals and Environment in the University of Padua, and his team are working to find alternative hypo-allergenic proteins that exist naturally in other plants and swap them for the irritation-causing proteins in apples.
Botton said that they cannot know what will happen when they silence a biological gene.
However, Botton said that by using other plant proteins, the structure of the apple would likely not be significantly changed.
Botton said that genetically modified apples provide a faster option for developing hypo-allergenic varieties compared to the traditional means.