Innovative Food Science & Emerging Technologies
BALB/c mice were used to assess the ability of a whey protein hydrolysate obtained by pepsin treatment under high pressure (400 MPa, 37 C, 30 min, HWP), to induce anaphylaxis, antibody production and cytokine responses in comparison with the whey protein isolate (WP) from which it is derived. HWP did not contain intact allergens and 50% of its peptides ranged between 10 and 3 kDa. Challenge with HWP did not induce clinical signs, body temperature changes or release of mast cell proteinase-1 in mice sensitized to WP. Immunization of mice with HWP did not produce WP-specific antibodies or allergic reactions upon HWP or WP challenge and thus, it can be considered hypoallergenic. However, HWP stimulated Th2 responses in splenocytes from sensitized mice. These characteristics make HWP a good candidate to be used in the management of milk allergy in diagnosed patients or to induce tolerance to whey proteins.