Internet Symposium on Food Allergens 3(2): 103-114 (2001) [PDF-file]

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Allergen Data Collection:
Sunflower Seed (Helianthus annuus)
Authors in alphabetical order [contact information]
Sue L.
BESLER (Hamburg, Germany)
HEFLE (Lincoln, NE, USA)
JENSEN-JAROLIM (Vienna, Austria)


Sunflower belongs to the family of Compositae. The whole seeds are used in breads and for garnishing bakery products or as livestock, bird, and poultry feed. Edible sunflower seed oils are ingredients of cooking and salad oils, and of margarine. Reportedly anaphylactic reactions have been elicited after ingestion of sunflower seeds, sunflower oil, and honey containing sunflower pollen.
About 10 different allergens from 10 to 67 kDa have been detected in sunflower seeds. Recently a 2S methionine-rich sunflower seed albumin (SSA) has been identified as a sunflower seed allergen. In pollen a 34 kDa protein (Hel a 1) and sunflower profilin (Hel a 2) were characterized as allergens.
The present allergen data collection summarizes data on prevalence, symptoms, allergen sources, stability and cross-reactivity of sunflower allergens and their molecular biological and allergenic properties in tabular form.
Sesquiterpene lactones occur in the glandular hairs of sunflower. These substances are not discussed in the present review, but are considered to be capable of inducing allergic contact dermatitis in sensitized individuals.
  Prevalence of Sunflower Seed Allergy
Symptoms of Sunflower Seed Allergy
Diagnostic Features of Sunflower Seed Allergy
Composition of Sunflower Seeds
Allergens of Sunflower Seed and Pollen
    5.1Sensitization to Sunflower Allergens
     5.2 2S-Methionine-rich Protein (SSA)
     5.3 Properties of Sunflower Pollen Profilin (Hel a 2)
Isolation & Preparation
Stability of Sunflower Seed Allergens
Allergen Sources

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.

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