Call for partners: Predictive model for the sensitising capacity of novel nutritional proteins


Call for partners: Predictive model for the sensitising capacity of novel nutritional proteins

Aiming to develop products with novel proteins? Also wondering if these novel proteins are allergenic? Wageningen Food and Biobased Research is starting a consortium around this topic.

Sustainability considerations make it inevitable that ‘novel’, potentially allergenic proteins, such as novel legumes, insects etc. and protein-rich products derived thereof such as meat replacers, will be included into the human diet in the forthcoming years. Many of such products will have been heat-processed, a unit operation that is known to increase protein immunogenicity, which is a pre-stage for potential allergenicity and associated allergic reactions. The question is therefore not so much whether novel food allergies will develop, but rather how high/low the prevalence will be, how mild/severe the associated symptoms, and whom will be affected/most sensitive, as the introduction of the kiwi in the 1970’s has shown.


In this project, in vitro models for key events in the development of an allergic reaction will be set-up. Such key events will be based upon the Adverse Outcome Pathway analysis that has been made for allergies by the ImpARAS-consortium. Where possible, primary cells will be used for the assays and cells from allergic individuals will be compared to those from non-allergic individuals, to also get an impression of e.g. the relevance of genetic factors in the sensitisation process. Based on thorough analysis of the predictive relevance of these key events, or combinations thereof, the best-predicting in vitro-assay(s) will be incorporated in organ-on-a-chip devices, to facilitate their eventual use.

Invitation to collaborate

This consortium is open for participation from ingredient companies, end product companies, and biotech companies. In return for in-cash and in-kind contributions to the project, partners can specify desired topics for research, and provide direction to the research activities. Unfortunately we are not able to reply to solicitations from research institutes or enquiries from students related to this project.

Want to know more?

Involved experts:

  • Prof. dr. H.J. Wichers, senior onderzoeker Wageningen Food & Biobased Research
  • ir. S.Bastiaan, senior onderzoeker Wageningen Food & Biobased Research
  • dr. C.C.F.M. Govers, senior researcher Wageningen Food & Biobased Research, Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Erasmus MC