MACADAMIA NUT ALLERGY
Macadamia nuts are in the Proteaceae
family of plants. This family of plants are usually found in the Southern hemisphere, mostly Australia and South America. Other plants in this family include chilean hazelnuts (also called avellano chileno).
There are two key food allergens found in macadamia nuts, Mac i 1 and Mac i 2.
Mac i 1 is a vicilin like protein used in storage in the plant. This is also sometimes described as a 7S seed storage protein
Mac i 2 is a legumin like protein, this is similar to the protein casein in milk. This is also often described as an 11S seed storage protein
Seed storage proteins are found in multiple types of nuts, seeds and legumes which can lead to cross reactivity.
Macadamia nuts are low in histamine, so are suitable for people who follow a low histamine diet.
Macadamia nuts are 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.
Macadamias 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.
Macadamia nut allergy is not currently linked to any allergic syndromes.
Other foods containing vicilin like proteins are cashew, coconut, pecan, hazelnuts, buckwheat, soyabean, walnut, lentil, lupin, peas, peanuts, pistachio, sesame and mung bean.
There is a lot of crossover between foods containing vicilin and those containing legumin proteins. Foods containing legumin but not vicilin proteins are almonds, brazil nuts, kiwi, pumpkin and mustard.
Please note that these food lists are not exhaustive, the most up to date information is on the Cross Reactivity Tool.
Science Direct - Macadamia Nuts
Allergen Encyclopedia - Macadamia Nuts
What Are the Symptoms of a Nut Allergy?
Allergy UK - Quick Guide to Tree Nut Allergy
FARE - Tree Nut Allergy
AAAAI - Tree Nut Allergy
Anaphylaxis Campaign - Peanut and Tree nut allergies
Can You Be Allergic to Just One Type of Tree Nut?
Histamine Intolerance Food List
ATP Science - Salicylate Food List
Healthline - Low FODMAP Foods
Articles and Journals
Expression, purification, characterization, and patient IgE reactivity of new macadamia nut iso-allergen, 2023
Recent advances in diagnosing and managing nut allergies with focus on hazelnuts, walnuts, and cashew nuts, 2022
Tolerance induction through non-avoidance to prevent persistent food allergy (TINA) in children and adults with peanut or tree nut allergy: rationale, study design and methods of a randomized controlled trial and observational cohort study, 2022
Identification of vicilin, legumin and antimicrobial peptide 2a as macadamia nut allergens, 2021
Macadamia nut allergy in children: Clinical features and cross-reactivity with walnut and hazelnut, 2021
IgE-binding to vicilin-like antimicrobial peptides is associated with systemic reactions to macadamia nut, 2020
Defining challenge-proven coexistent nut and sesame seed allergy: A prospective multicenter European study, 2020
Clinical features and allergen analysis in five children with macadamia nut allergy, 2018
Tree nut allergens, 2018
Current perspectives on tree nut allergy: a review, 2018
Allergy to macadamia nut, 2007
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