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Business now marketing NC A&T developed hypoallergenic peanuts

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Business leaders and researchers at North Carolina A&T University are ready for the food industry to try hypoallergenic peanuts.

Leaders with Alrgn Bio said they are trying to line up partners in the food industry to sell the patented technology to.

“Our hope is through the process we've developed that those allergies will be reduced so that instead of some kind of fatal attack that you will have minimal reaction to peanuts and that opens another marketplace for products,” said Ann Russell, head of U.S. operations for Alrgn Bio.

The process is patented and has been tested, though the final results have yet to be published.

Alrgn Bio leaders believe the process of soaking peanuts in enzymes can reduce levels of the most popular allergens to nearly untraceable levels. They believe that will be very attractive to businesses that make and sell food and easy to incorporate into the food preparation process.

“We're trying to reduce the number of hurdles and barriers for it to get there by making it as simple as possible,” said Johnny Rodrigues, founder of Alrgn Bio.

Rodrigues would not estimate sales or talk about potential partnerships other than to say he could see hypoallergenic peanuts becoming the new standard in the industry.

“One individual asked earlier, ‘How are you going to do every peanut on the planet?’” recalled Rodrigues during Thursday’s demonstration. “We want to give it to all the processors -- that is what they do. We feel with that approach there's a good possibility to getting very close to that goal.”

One of the founding NC A&T researchers is part of the Algrn Bio team. Dr. Jianmei Yu is listed as the Chief Science Consultant for Algrn Bio which is headquartered at the Greenway University Research Park on South Elm Street.