Food Matrix Composition Affects the Allergenicity of Baked Egg Products

Elise G. Liu, Joey Tan, Julia Shook Munoz, Veronika Shabanova, Stephanie C. Eisenbarth, Stephanie Leeds*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Egg allergy is common and caused by sensitization to ovomucoid and/or ovalbumin. Many egg-allergic patients are able to tolerate eggs baked into other foods, such as muffins. Although heating egg extensively reduces allergens, the effect of other food ingredients on allergenicity of eggs, or the “matrix effect,” is less well studied. Objective: We aimed to define how food matrices impact the matrix effect in egg allergenicity. Methods: Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was used to quantify ovalbumin and ovomucoid in extracts from various baked egg products: plain baked egg without a matrix, and muffins baked using either wheat flour, rice flour, or a wheat flour/banana puree mix. Allergen-specific immunoglobulin E (IgE)–blocking enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays were performed using the egg product extracts on egg-allergic patient sera to determine whether the amount of extracted egg protein in each extract correlated with how well the extracts could bind patients’ egg IgE. Results: Baking eggs in any muffin matrix led to an increase in the amount of extractable ovalbumin and a decrease in the amount of extractable ovomucoid compared with plain baked egg. Compared with wheat muffins, rice muffins had more extractable ovalbumin and wheat/banana muffins had more extractable ovalbumin and ovomucoid. The egg allergens in the extracts were able to block egg-allergic patients’ egg IgE. Conclusions: Food matrices affect egg allergen availability. Patients and families should be advised that substitutions in baked egg muffin recipes can affect the amount of egg allergens in foods and potentially affect the risk of food allergic reaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


  • Baked egg
  • Egg allergy
  • Egg IgE
  • Matrix effect
  • Muffin
  • Ovalbumin
  • Ovomucoid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy

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