Key Allergens

Cassava is a root vegetable from the Manihot esculenta plant and is known interchangeably as yuka and manioc. It is most commonly eaten in Africa and Central and South America, but is becoming increasingly more popular worldwide.

Cassava is in the Euphorbiaceae family of plants. This family also includes castor beans and the rubber tree plant Hevea brasiliensis the main plant responsible for latex allergies.

Man e 5 is the main protein in cassava that causes allergic reactions. This is a glutamic acid rich protein, similar in structure to hevein.

Hevein's role in plants is in plant defense, it is an important allergen as it is not easily broken down by heat or processing and can still cause an allergic reaction.

Cassava can be ground to make tapioca flour, this is used in breads and as a thickening agent. Tapioca flour is also the main ingredient in boba or bubble tea, this South East Asian drink has spread to most of the world. Tapioca or cassava flour is naturally gluten free. Tapioca flour is also sometimes used to make arrowroot, which is used in baking and cooking as a thickening agent.

Food Intolerances

Food is moderate in sulphites Food is low in FODMAP Food is low in salicylates

Cassava contains sulphites naturally. Sulphites are inorganic salts which have the potential to cause symptoms of food intolerance to those sensitive to them, this food intolerance is more common in asthmatics. An improvement in symptoms can be made with a change to a low sulphite diet.

Cassava is a low 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.

Cassava is a food low in salicylates. Salicylates have the potential to cause gastrointestinal food intolerance symptoms in people who are sensitive to salicylates.

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

Associated Syndromes

Cassava allergy can be linked to Latex Food Syndrome as the main allergen is similar in structure to hevein, which can cause problems in people with a latex allergy.

Cross Reactivity

Those with a sensitivity to hevein or chitinase may have linked allergies to foods which contain high levels of chitinase, like avocado, banana, chestnuts, corn (maize), kiwi, papaya, pomegranate and tomatoes.



Science Direct - Hevein

Allergy Asthma Network - Latex Allergy

Latex-Fruit Syndrome and Class 2 Food Allergy

Healthline - FODMAP Foods

Articles and Journals

Navigating Food Allergy Dynamics via a Novel Fractional Mathematical Model for Antacid-Induced Allergies, 2024

Fructose biphosphate aldolase: A new cassava allergen, 2023

Evaluation of improved cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) varieties and associated products for proximate, cyanogenic potential and glycemic indices, 2023

Occupational Hand Dermatitis amongst Cassava Processors in Rural Communities in Southwest Nigeria, 2022

Update on latex allergy: New insights into an old problem, 2021

Food allergy to wheat, soybean and cassava in Benin: Literature Review, 2016

Latex-fruit syndrome in Italian children and adolescents with natural rubber latex allergy, 2013

Novel allergens from ancient foods: Man e 5 from manioc (Manihot esculenta Crantz) cross reacts with Hev b 5 from latex, 2013

Latex-allergic patients sensitized to the major allergen hevein and hevein-like domains of class I chitinases show no increased frequency of latex-associated plant food allergy, 2011

Allergic reactions to manioc (Manihot esculenta Crantz): Identification of novel allergens with potential involvement in latex-fruit syndrome, 2011

Allergy to cassava: a new allergenic food with cross-reactivity to latex, 2007

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 or Twitter - links at the bottom of the page.

Original Website Design by Jemma Dalton - © Allergy Resources. All rights reserved.

Privacy Policy

Follow Us