Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.
Food allergies are a major health concern in industrialized countries. Since a specific immunotherapy for food allergies is not available in clinical routine praxis till now, reduction of allergens in foods, either by food processing or genetic engineering are strategies to minimize the risk of adverse reactions for food allergic patients. This review summarizes biotechnological approaches, especially the RNA interference (RNAi) technology, for the reduction of selected allergens in plant foods. So far, only a limited number of reports showing proof-of-concept of this methodology are available. Using RNAi an impressive reduction of allergen accumulation was obtained which was stable in the next generations of plants. Since threshold doses for most food allergens are not known, the beneficial effect has to be evaluated by oral challenge tests in the future. The article critically addresses the potential and limitations of genetic engineering, as well as of alternative strategies to generate "low allergic" foods.