In Europe celery is listed as a top 14 allergen which needs to be labelled in packaged food.
Celery is in the Apiaceae
family of plants. Other plants in this family are aniseed, carrots, coriander, cumin, dill, fennel, parsley and parsnips.
There are 6 allergens associated with celery allergy - the main allergen in celery is Api g 1 which is similar in shape to the Bet v 1
allergens which can cause oral allergy type symptoms.
Two of the proteins found in celery are Lipid Transfer Proteins
, Api g 2 and 6.
Api g 4 is a profilin protein
, these are panallergens and found in many fruits and vegetables.
A new allergen, Api g 7 , has been identified as a plant defensin protein
. These are proteins used by the plants in defence against fungal infections.
Celery also contains chemicals called furanocoumarins
, these can act as a contact allergen. When they come in contact with the skin it can become more sensitive to sunlight which can cause blistering. This is more common as an occupational allergy with people who pick, pack and process celery. This is known as phototoxicity. Additionally there have been case reports of ingestion of celery causing severe sunburn and blistering in rare cases.
Celery is a low FODMAP food. FODMAP
stands for F
olyols. 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.
Celery is a food high 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.
You may have Pollen-Food Allergy Syndrome
if you suffer from celery allergy with oral allergy symptoms to 3 or more of the foods mentioned in cross reactivity section.
The lipid transfer proteins in celery may cause problems if you suffer from LTP Syndrome
Allergy to celery is commonly linked to Celery-Mugwort-Spice Syndrome
as the sensitising allergen is a profilin protein called Art v 4, these proteins are also sometimes also called Bet v 2 proteins.
There is a link between celery and Latex Food Syndrome
. The plant involved in latex allergy Hevea brasiliensis
, the rubber tree plant, has an allergen called Hev b 8 which is a profilin protein. Those very sensitised to latex may have a contact allergic reaction from other foods or plants containing profilin proteins, there is less evidence of this than sensitisation to other latex linked proteins like hevein and chitinases.
If sensitised to birch pollen you may have Pollen Food Allergy Syndrome and may also react to apple, kiwi, pear, peach, plum, nectarine, apricots, cherries, tomato, celery, potato, parsnip, pepper, dill, cumin, peas, coriander, fennel, hazelnut, walnut, almonds, peanuts, lentils and beans.
If sensitised to alder pollen you may also react to apple, cherry, peach, pear, parsley, celery, almonds and hazelnuts.
Common foods involved in LTP allergy include kiwi, strawberries, sunflower seeds, walnut, apple, mulberry, banana, pea, apricot, cherry, plum, almond, peach pomegranate, raspberry, tomato, grape, celery, peanut, asparagus, cabbage, broccoli, chestnut, lemon, tangerine, orange, hazelnut, lettuce, lentils, lupin, green bean, pear, mustard, wheat and maize.
Other foods containing plant profilins are kiwi, pineapple, celery, peanut, chilli, watermelon, orange, hazelnut, melon, strawberry, soya, barley, walnut, lychee, lupin, apple, banana, date, cherry, almond, peach, pear, mustard, tomato, aubergine and wheat.
Defensin proteins are found as food allergens in celery, peanuts, mango, sunflower seeds and horse chestnuts and as pollen allergens in soya, woodworm and mugwort.
Note that these food lists are not exhaustive, the most up to date food lists are on the Cross Reactivity Tool page.
Allergen Encyclopedia - Celery
DermNet NZ - Celery
Anaphylaxis Campaign - Celery Allergy
Allergy information for: Celery, Celeriac (graveolens)
Types of Food Allergy
Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS) or Pollen Fruit Syndrome (PFS)
Worcester university Pollen Calendar
Healthline - FODMAP Foods
ATP Science - Salicylate Foods
Articles and Journals
Cross-reactive epitopes and their role in food allergy, 2023
The Role of Defensins as Pollen and Food Allergens, 2023
Spectrum and frequency of food allergy in Kyiv`s adult citizens with allergic rhinitis: a cross-sectional study, 2022
Identification of a defensin as novel allergen in celery root: Api g 7 as a missing link in the diagnosis of celery allergy? 2021
Phototoxic and Photoallergic Contact Reactions, 2020
Food allergy to apple, peach and celery in atopic dermatitis patients, analysis of sensitisation to molecular components, 2020
Can patients with oral allergy syndrome be at risk of anaphylaxis?, 2020
Pollen-food allergy syndrome in children, 2020
Clinical reactivity of celery cultivars in allergic patients: Role of Api g 1, 2018
Sensitization Prevalence, Antibody Cross-Reactivity and Immunogenic Peptide Profile of Api g 2, the Non-Specific Lipid Transfer Protein 1 of Celery, 2011
The prevalence of positive reactions in the atopy patch test with aeroallergens and food allergens in subjects with atopic eczema: a European multicenter study, 2004
Severe Phototoxic Burn Following Celery Ingestion, 1990
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