Mace is a spice in the Myristicaceae
family of plants. The spice mace is made from the red or purple lacy covering on the pit of the fruit. Nutmeg
is a spice made from the same plant, but is from the brown seed kernel inside the fruit pit. If allergic to one of these spices it is likely you will be allergic to the other.
Even though mace and nutmeg are related, nutmeg is NOT a nut, so does not have to be avoided if you are allergic to tree nuts or peanuts.
Mace contains isoeugenol which is a chemical compound which can cause contact allergies - it is found in mace oil which can be added to foods for flavour.
There are no recorded allergens for mace by the World Health Organization (WHO), because there have not been enough study into allergic effects from this food. If you are interested in what is needed by the WHO before they add an allergen to their allergen database you can check that out HERE
Mace 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.
Mace 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.
Mace oils contain isoeugenol, which is a contact allergen which can cause contact allergic dermatitis.
Mace and nutmeg are made from the same plant, so if suffering from allergic symptoms to one it is likely that you will also be allergic to the other.
Other plants which contain eugenol include allspice, bay leaf, basil, cinnamon, turmeric, marjoram, mace, clove, pepper, ginger, oregano and thyme.
DermNet NZ - Skin problems in the Catering Industry
Allergen Encyclopedia - Mace
Science Direct - Mace
Articles and Journals
Severe allergic reaction to allspice, a hidden food allergen, 2022
Systemic Contact Dermatitis to Spices: Report Of A Rare Case, 2021
Occupational exposure and respiratory health problems among nutmeg production workers in Grenada, the Caribbean, 2017
Bioactivities of Ethanolic Extracts of Three Parts (Wood, Nutmeg and Mace) from Myristica fragrans Houtt, 2016
Spice allergy evaluated by results of patch tests, 1993
Contact allergy to spices, 1990
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