Peanut allergies could be gone forever, thanks to UV light

Peanut butter out of jar
Dan Gentile
Dan Gentile

For too long, our allergic brethren have been suffering in silence as we jam our faces with peanut butter, fighting about whether creamy or crunchy is better the entire time. Well, EpiPen elites, we finally have some good news: a scientist has found that pulses of UV light eliminate 80% of the allergens in peanuts, and could eventually wipe out 99% of the offending stuff.

In a University of Florida study, Dr. Wade Yang discovered that by aiming a pulsating UV light system at peanuts, he could rid the snack of most of its allergens. In more scientific terms, the lights apparently modify the allergenic proteins in peanuts so they no longer register as allergens at all to the human body. That means no histamines (the stuff that makes you itch, sneeze, break out in rashes) get released, and no one dies. Most amazingly, the process didn't affect the peanuts' taste or texture. They were exactly the same, just less prone to induce anaphylactic shock.

If Yang can hit his goal of hacking out 99.9% of the allergens, this could mean seriously great things for people with peanut allergies who still want to know the euphoria of eating a peanut butter cup. We're not sure if he's accepting donations for his research at this time, but we'll be outside dancing in a silly costume to "Peanut Butter Jelly Time" for tips just in case.

Kristin Hunt is a food/drink staff writer for Thrillist, and doesn't know where she'd be without peanut butter. Follow her at @kristin_hunt.