ODENSE, Denmark, Nov. 20 (UPI) -- Discoveries by Danish researchers could help wine-makers develop low-allergenic vintages -- wines with less potential to trigger allergy symptoms.
Scientist Giuseppe Palmisano of University of Southern Denmark in Odense and colleagues identified 28 glycoproteins -- proteins coated with sugars produced naturally as grapes ferment -- that may be causing the headaches, stuffy noses, skin rash and other more serious allergy symptoms such as difficulty breathing suffered by 500 million people worldwide if they drink wine.
Wine allergies occur in about 8 percent of people worldwide, with 1 percent allergic due to sulfites -- sulfur-containing substances that winemakers add to wine to prevent spoilage, but also occur naturally. However, the wine substances that trigger allergies in the remaining 7 percent are unclear.
The study, published in the Journal of Proteome Research, found the glycoproteins had structures similar to known allergens -- including proteins that trigger allergic reactions to ragweed and latex.
The researchers found the glycoproteins while analyzing Italian Chardonnay. The glycoproteins were formed as the grapes fermented.