A new, highly sensitive test that detects even the tiniest amount of peanut in processed food may be a relief for the people who are allergic to peanuts. This new test can distinguish peanuts from other nuts and detects minuscule traces of peanut DNA in food products. It may help food manufacturers tell customers if their products contain even a few parts per million of peanut. Allergy to peanuts usually begins during the early part of life and rarely goes away. A peanut allergy may be triggered by early exposure to peanut proteins through the mother eating peanuts during pregnancy, through breastfeeding, or if the child is given peanut products early in life. Parents of children with the allergy must be extra vigilant about what their youngsters eat. It is estimated that some 3 million Americans have serious allergies to nuts.
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