|Allergen Data Collection:
Almond (Prunus dulcis)
|Authors in alphabetical order [contact
IgE-mediated adverse reactions to almonds have been reported by several investigations. Prevalence data vary considerably with different patient cohorts and between studies from different countries. Allergic symptoms due to almond ingestion range from milder oral symptoms to life-threatening systemic reactions.
Although they belong to the family of Rosaceae fruits (e.g. apple, peach, and apricot), almonds are most often classified as tree nuts. As such almonds are included in the Codex Alimentarius list of allergens which should always be declared on the label of pre-packaged foods. Almonds are used in various forms (whole, chopped, sliced, or paste) predominantly in bakery products such as cookies, cakes, and pies as well as in confectionary products. Almonds are a source of gourmet edible oils that potentially contain residual allergens.
There is only limited information on almond allergens. Two major allergens with approximately 66-70 kDa and 45-50 kDa have been identified. The latter proved to be stable during food processing such as blanching and roasting of almonds. Moreover, the plant-pan allergen profilin is also present in almonds, and recent studies indicate the presence of another plant-pan allergen in almonds: a lipid-transfer protein. Almond allergens demonstrate in-vitro cross-reactivity of IgE binding to other tree nuts and fruits from the Rosaceae family.
Detailed information on prevalence, symptoms, and diagnostic features
of almond allergy are reviewed in tabular form. The terms "nuts" or "tree
nuts" refer to shell (nut) fruits of various botanical families. In the
present Allergen Data Collection nuts or tree nuts include almonds, Brazil
nuts, cashew nuts, hazelnuts, pecannuts, pistachios, and walnuts. Other
tree nuts that are not commonly allergenic include nutmegs, shea nuts,
and Kola nuts. Unless not otherwise stated peanuts, chestnuts, and coconuts
are not included.
The reference lists of the Allergen Data Collections are based mainly on searches of Medline and FSTA (Food Science & Technology Abstracts) databases up to the related dates of publication. The scientific rigor of the studies listed is variable and not subject of critique or evaluation by the authors or the editor of the Allergen Data Collections. The reader should be aware of considerable problems in comparing data from different studies (eg. patient cohorts, diagnostic performances, possible flaws in allergen preparations and methodologies for allergen characterization) and is encouraged to review the original publications.
The information provided by the Internet Symposium on Food Allergens is for educational, communication and information purposes only and is not intended to replace or constitute medical advice or treatments. Neither the authors nor the editorial board of the Internet Symposium on Food Allergens are responsible for use which might be made of the information.