|Allergen Data Collection:
Sesame Seed (Sesamum indicum)
|Authors in alphabetical order [contact
Sesame is an oil seed plant originating in India. Nowadays, sesame
is cultivated in Africa, Asia, the Balkans, the Middle East, Latin America
and in the USA. In the food industry, sesame seeds are used as whole seeds
or for the production of sesame paste and oil. Sesame containing products
include Turkish halvah, tahini (tehina), houmous (hummus), fast food confections,
and various bakery products. Sesame seeds are frequently reported to induce
anaphylactic reactions. Moreover, allergy to sesame seeds is often characterized
by low or negative specific serum-IgE, thus resulting in low specificity
of RAST and SPT, which may be due to poor quality allergen extracts. In
double-blind, placebo-controlled food challenge studies (DBPCFC), doses
as low as 100 mg of sesame seeds and 3 mL of sesame oil elicited allergic
reactions in sesame allergic individuals.
Several IgE-binding sesame seed proteins in the range of 10 to 67 kDa have been described. To date only two major allergens, with molecular masses of 10 and 25 kDa, respectively, have been identified using sera from sesame allergic individuals.
Detailed information on prevalence, symptoms, and diagnostic features of sesame seed allergy as well as cross-reactivities and allergen sources are reviewed in tabular form.
Sesamol, sesamolin and sesamin have been reported to be contact allergens. These low molecular substances, which are contained in the unsaponifiable fraction of sesame oil, are not discussed in the present review.
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.
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