Key Allergens

Cumin is a plant in the Apiaceae family of plants which also includes dill, celery, coriander and parsley. The seeds of the plant are dried and ground to make the spice cumin.

Allergic reactions are most likely to be caused by Bet v 1-like proteins, which cause reactions in people sensitised to birch tree pollen and give oral allergy type symptoms.

Plants in the Apiaceae family contain profilin proteins which can cause allergic reactions in uncommon circumstances.

Cumin should be safe for most people who suffer from peanut allergies as the main allergens in peanut are seed storage proteins.

Cumin also contain 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 cumin.

Food Intolerances

Food is high in salicylates Food is low in FODMAP

Cumin is a food 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.

Cumin 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.

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

Associated Syndromes

Allergy to cumin is loosely linked to Pollen Food Allergy Syndrome. You may have Pollen-Food Allergy Syndrome if you suffer from cumin allergy with oral allergy symptoms to 3 or more of the foods mentioned in the cross reactivity section.

Cross Reactivity

If sensitised to birch tree pollen you may have Pollen Food Allergy Syndrome and may also react to almond, aniseed, apple, apricot, carrot, celery, cherry, chestnut, dill, fenugreek, fig, hazelnut, jackfruit, kiwi, melon, mung bean, parsley, parsnip, peach, peanut, pear, persimmon, plum, poppy seeds, raspberry, soya, strawberry, tomato and walnut.

Cumin is in the family Apiaceae, other spices in this family are dill, celery, coriander, carrot, fennel, parsnip, parsley and aniseed.

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



Science Direct - Cumin

Healthline - Salicylate Sensitivity

AAAAI - Spice Allergies

Articles and Journals

Reported food-related symptoms and food allergen sensitization in a selected adult population in Hyderabad, India: A hospital-based survey, 2024

Molecular mechanisms and signaling pathways of black cumin (Nigella sativa) and its active constituent, thymoquinone: a review, 2023

Severe allergic reaction to allspice, a hidden food allergen, 2022

Oral Allergy Syndrome Due to a Hidden Allergen in Mojo, 2020

New allergens from spices in the Apiaceae family: anise Pimpinella anisum L. and caraway Carum carvi L., 2020

Oral allergy syndrome–the need of a multidisciplinary approach, 2014

Characterization of allergens in Apiaceae spices: anise, fennel, coriander and cumin, 2006

Spice allergy in celery‐sensitive patients, 1991

Cumin anaphylaxis: A case report, 1987

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