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Key Allergens

Mesquite is a plant in the Fabaceae family of plants, these are also called legumes. Other plants in this family include peas, beans, lentils, peanuts and gums.

Mesquite plants grow in America, South America, Africa and India and favour dry soils, so become an important food source the further South you travel.

The legume pods can be dried and ground and made into flour. The wood from the bushes are often used to smoke meats and fish as it gives them a pleasant smoky aroma. This means it is also often used in dry rubs for meats

The pollen of mesquite plants contain a Profilin protein and an Ole e 1 protein. These can cause problems for people who suffer allergic reactions to certain pollens.

Mesquite is a good gluten free alternative and is also high in fibre and protein, unlike some processed grain flours.

Food Intolerances

Food is low in histamine Food is low in FODMAP

Mesquite, like other legumes is a food low in histamine, so is suitable for people following a low histamine diet.

Mesquite 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

When eaten mesquite is not associated with any allergic syndromes.

The pollen is linked to Celery-Mugwort-Spice Syndrome as it contain an airway profilin protein. This means that some people with a mesquite pollen allergy will get oral allergy type symptoms from eating foods which contain profilin proteins.

An allergy to mesquite pollen is often associated with rhinitis, conjunctivitis and hayfever.

Cross Reactivity

The pollen of mesquite contain profilin proteins, these are also found in the pollens of aspen , olive trees, grasses, poplar, privet and oak.

Foods containing profilin proteins include apples, banana, peppers, cherries, corn, coriander (cilantro), date, mango, peach and peanut (amongst many other foods).

The pollen of mesquite also contains Ole e 1 proteins, these are also found in the pollen of ash, lilac, plantain, privet and some grasses.

Note these food lists are not exhaustive, you can find the most up to date information on the Cross Reactivity Tool.



Allergen Encyclopedia - Mesquite

Science Direct - Mesquite

Articles and Journals

Aeroallergens sensitization pattern in atopic patients in Qatar: A retrospective study, 2023

Mesquite (Prosopis L.) as a functional ingredient in gluten-free dough and bread, 2022

Invasive Mesquite (Prosopis juliflora), an Allergy and Health Challenge, 2020

Pod Mesocarp Flour of North and South American Species of Leguminous Tree Prosopis (Mesquite): Composition and Food Applications, 2013

Molecular Cloning and Expression of Pro J 1: A New Allergen of Prosopis Juliflora Pollen, 2016

Pro j 2 is mesquite profilin: molecular characteristics and specific IgE binding activity, 2015

A clinically relevant major cross-reactive allergen from mesquite tree pollen, 2008

Immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated cross-reactivity between mesquite pollen proteins and lima bean, an edible legume, 2007

The human allergens of mesquite (Prosopis juliflora), 2004

Identification of specific IgE to mesquite wood smoke in individuals with mesquite pollen allergy, 2002

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