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Key Allergens

Black eyed peas (also called cowpeas) are in the Fabaceae family of plants, these are also known as legumes. Other plants in this family include kidney beans, peanuts, peas, lentils, lupin, green beans and soya beans. If you want to find out more about legumes you can visit the Legume page.

Black eyed peas are the species Vigna unguiculata, so are similar to Vigna angularis (adzuki or red beans), Vigna mungo (black gram beans) and Vigna radiata, which are green gram beans (also known as mung beans).

To date there are no recorded allergens for black eyed pea by the World Health Organization (WHO), because there have not been enough study into allergic effects from this food. If you are interested in what is needed by the WHO before they add an allergen to their allergen database you can check that out HERE.

Mung beans contain 7S seed storage proteins and Bet v 1 proteins which are linked to Pollen Food Allergy Syndrome. There is a possibility that black eyed peas contain similar proteins.

Food Intolerances

Food is low in salicylates Food is high in histamine Food is high in FODMAP Food is high in lectins

Black eyed peas are high in histamine when they are eaten from cans, this is because of the ways they are preserved. Canned peas are not suitable for people who are following a low histamine diet.

Black eyed pea are a high FODMAP food. FODMAP stands for Fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols. Foods high in FODMAPs can cause symptoms of food intolerance, affecting the gastro intestinal system and this can be mistaken for a true IgE food allergy.

Most canned beans are low in Salicylates, these have the potential to cause gastrointestinal food intolerance symptoms in people who are sensitive to salicylates.

Black eyed peas are high in lectins, another cause of food intolerance. Cooking foods with lectins makes them more digestible and can reduce the symptoms of food intolerance.

You can read more about Food Intolerances on the dedicated Food Intolerance Page.

Associated Syndromes

Black eyed peas are not currently associated with any allergic syndromes.

Cross Reactivity

Other plants in the Fabaceae family of plants includes arabic gum, peanut, carob bean, chickpeas, guar gum, soya, lentils, lupin, runner beans, butter beans, grren beans, kidney beans, peas, tamarind, fenugreek, broad beans, black gram beans, mung beans and black eyed peas.

Other foods containing 7S seed storage proteins include mung beans, fenugreek, sesame seeds, chia seeds, peas, pistachio, macadamia nuts, lupin, lentil, walnut, edamame beans, soya, buckwheat, hazelnut, coconut, chickpea, quinoa, pecan, peanut and cashew nuts.

Other foods containing Bet v 1 proteins include mung beans, fenugreek, tomato, raspberry, pear, peach, almond, plum, cherry, apricot, aniseed, parsley, parsnip, poppy seed, apple, walnut, soya. strawberry, fig, persimmon fruit, carrot, melon, hazelnut, chestnut, jackfruit, peanut, celery, dill and kiwi.

Note these food lists are not exhaustive, the most up to date information is on the Cross Reactivity Tool.



Science Direct - Vigna unguiculata

Histamine Food List

Healthline - FODMAP Foods

ATP Science - Salicylate Foods

Anaphylaxis Campaign - Legumes

Nottingham Eczema - Legume Allergy

Foods Matter - Legume Allergies

Articles and Journals

Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) Model-Based Prediction for Protein Content in Cowpea, 2024

Vegan diet—alternative protein sources as potential allergy risk, 2023

Clinical and prognostic evaluation of legumes and tree nuts allergy in children, 2022

Effect of Preparation and Freezing Methods on the Concentration of Resistant Starch, Antinutritional Factors and FODMAPs in Beans, 2019

Evaluation of Total Seed Protein Content in Eleven Arkansas Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L) Lines, 2016

Genetic analysis of seed proteins contents in cowpea (Vigna unguiculata), 2011

Purification, identification and preliminary crystallographic characterization of a novel seed protein from Vigna unguiculata, 2004

Nutritional quality of germinated cowpea flour (Vigna unguiculata L) and its application in home prepared powdered weaning foods, 2001

Let me know if you found any of these interesting or useful. If you spot an article or research that you think is interesting you can message me or tag me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter - links at the bottom of the page.

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