Effect of technological treatments on digestibility and allergenicity of meat-based baby foods

Patrizia Restani, Alessandro Fiocchi, Anna Rosa Restelli, Teresa Velonà, Barbara Beretta, Marcello Giovannini, Corrado L. Galli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: When suitably prepared according to particular characteristics of hygiene and digestibility, meat is an important food for human weaning. The present knowledge on meat digestibility and allergenicity are not enough to justify removal of meat from a child's diet when there is risk but no clinical evidence of allergy. Based on these considerations, the role of technological treatments on digestibility and allergenicity of meat- based baby foods is considered. Subjects: Eight children (five males and three females) suffering from atopic dermatitis (AD), aged 3.8 to 7.1 years (mean age 4.86 ± 1.10 years). Study design and methods: An in vitro multienzymatic digestibility assay was used to evaluate proteolysis in meat samples (from four different animal species). The experimental design included raw, steam-cooked (home-made and industrial cooking), homogenized (strained) and freeze-dried meat samples. Skin prick test (SPT) was performed to evaluate positive responses to meat samples (raw, cooked, strained and freeze-dried) from four animal species. Results: Our data indicate that enzymatic attack is strongly affected by heat treatment as shown in steamcooked meat samples. On the other hand, blending, homogenization and freeze-drying processes are able to partially reverse the phenomenon. Data on modification of sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel rlectrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) protein pattern during the multienzymatic assay are reported. Cooking and technological treatments reduce positive responses obtained in SPT. Conclusions: Technological treatments improve digestibility and reduce antigenicity of meat products.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)376-382
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American College of Nutrition
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1997


  • Allergenicity
  • Baby food
  • Cooking
  • Digestibility
  • Meat products
  • Technological treatments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science


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