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Key Allergens

Chicory is a plant in the Asteraceae family of plants. Other plants in this family include artichoke, camomile, lettuce, tarragon and sunflower seeds. Radicchio is the same plant as chicory, endive is a different species, Cichorium endivia, but in the same genus as chicory and endive.

The leaves of the plant can be eaten as salad greens and the roots can be ground and used as an ingredient in teas and herbal remedies.

Inulin is a product extracted from many plants, but most commonly chicory root. It is used as a sweetener and as a source of fibre.

Like other plants in this family of plants it contains sesquiterpene lactone, which can cause skin irritation and allergic contact dermatitis.

Studies have shown chicory contains Bet v 1 - like proteins. These are linked to Pollen Food Allergy Syndrome.

Food Intolerances

Food is high in salicylates Food is high in FODMAP

Chicory and inulin are a high FODMAP food as it is high in fructans. 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.

Chicory and inulin are high in salicylates. Salicylates have the potential to cause worsening of asthma, swelling, itching and hives as well as 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

Chicory is linked to allergic contact dermatitis due to the sesquiterpene lactones in plant.

The Bet v 1 like proteins links this food as a possible trigger for Pollen Food Allergy Syndrome.

Cross Reactivity

If you are allergic to chicory, then you may not be able to eat other plants in the Asteraceae family of plants, including artichoke, camomile, lettuce, tarragon and sunflower seeds.

Other foods which contain Bet v 1 include almond, apple, apricot, caraway, carrot, celery, cherry, dill, fig, hazelnut, jackfruit, kiwi, mango, parsley, peach, peanut, raspberry, soya, strawberry, tomato and walnut.

Note that the food lists are not completely exhaustive, visit the Cross Reactivity Tool to see the most up to date lists of which foods contain which allergens.



DermNet NZ - Compositae Allergy

Science Direct - Chicory

Science Direct - Inulin

Pollen Library - Chicory

FODMAPedia - Chicory

ATP Science - Salicylate Foods

Articles and Journals

The high dose of inulin exacerbated food allergy through the excess accumulation of short-chain fatty acids in a BABL/c mouse model, 2023

Dietary inulin fiber can promote allergy-related type of inflammation in the gut and lungs, 2022

The Common Cichory (Cichorium intybus L.) as a Source of Extracts with Health-Promoting Properties—A Review, 2021

Asteraceae species as potential environmental factors of allergy, 2019

A young child with anaphylaxis to inulin, a common substance in processed, high fiber foods, 2017

Occupational rhinoconjunctivitis and asthma caused by chicory and oral allergy syndrome associated with bet v 1-related protein, 2009

Hypersensitivity to Inulin: A Rare and Mostly Benign Event, 2008

Allergy to red chicory (Cichorium intybus var. sylvestre), 2004

Oral allergy syndrome to chicory associated with birch pollen allergy, 2003

Food allergy to Belgian endive (chicory), 1997

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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