A lot of us like a nice glass of wine at the end of the day, but for around 500 million people in the world, thatís not so much fun, as they have an allergy to wine. Itís apparently a bit like having a hayfever attack, with itchy eyes and sneezing. Now a group from the University of Southern Denmark have found out exactly what it is in the wine that makes these people react to it.
So the team led by Guiseppe Palmisano tested an italian chardonnay using a mass spectrometer to see if there were glycoproteins present that might be causing these reactions. They identified 28 different glycoproteins in the wine, contributed by both the grapes and the yeast used to make the wine. Many of the glycoproteins from the grapes were very similar in structure to ones known from other plants and fruit that are known to cause allergic reactions, and itís the structure of the glycoprotein that is important in it being an allergen or not.