Professor of Food Science, Cornell University
Dr. Robert Gravani is a Professor of Food Science in the Department of Food Science. He received a BS degree in Food Science from Rutgers University and his MS and PhD degrees in Food Science from Cornell University with minors in microbiology and food marketing/management. He was appointed to the food science faculty in 1978 and currently serves as the Department Extension Leader and Director of the National Good Agricultural Practices Program.
Dr. Gravani's primary responsibilities are in the area of food science/food safety extension and outreach where he maintains a very active program and conducts short courses, seminars, and workshops for food processors, food retailers, the foodservice industry, and government regulatory agencies. He is interested in the microbiological safety and quality of foods and consumer knowledge of these important issues.
What is a food allergy?
Professor of Food Science Bob Gravani discusses what a food allergy is.
This expert: 346,824 views
Host: What is a food allergy?
Robert B. Gravani: Well, a food allergy is an immune system response to a protein in a food that the body mistakenly believes is harmful, when the food is first consumed, certain cells in the body get sensitized and when the protein is consumed the second time, those sensitized cells release a lot of very powerful chemicals like histamines, some leukotrienes, some prostaglandins and these powerful chemicals trigger the allergic reaction, the symptoms that occur and these symptoms can occur in places like the eyes, the nose, the throat, the skin, the gastrointestinal tract and even the cardiovascular system.