Pistachio nuts are in the Anacardiaceae
family of plants. Other plants in this family include cashew nuts, mango and sumac.
There are 5 allergens in pistachio nuts. Pis v 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.
Most tree nut allergies are caused by seed storage proteins, pistachios have all 3 types of seed storage protein. Pis v 1 is a 2S seed storage albumin protein
Pis v 2 and 5 are 11S seed storage globulin proteins
, also known as legumin proteins.
Pis v 3 is a vicilin protein, also called a 7S seed storage globulin protein
. These seed storage proteins can cause people to be allergic to whole groups of tree nuts, seeds and legumes.
Pis v 4 is a manganese superoxide dismutase which is a plant enzyme.
Pistachios are high 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.
Pistachio nuts are 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.
Pistachio allergy is not currently associated with any allergic syndromes.
The most studied cross reactivity is between pistachio and cashew nuts.
Other food containing 2S albumin seed storage proteins are cashews, peanuts, brazil nuts, mustard seed, rapeseed, turnip, chickpeas, hazelnuts, pecan nuts, buckwheat, soya, sunflower seeds, walnuts, kiwi, castor beans and sesame seeds.
Other foods containing 7S seed storage proteins are peanuts, cashews, pecan, hazelnut, soya beans, walnut, macadamia nuts, sesame and lupin all contain 2S seed storage proteins. Fruits and vegetables containing these proteins are coconut, mung beans and peas. 7S seed storage proteins are also found in buckwheat and lentils.
11S seed storage proteins are also found in kiwi, cashew, pecan, macadamia, peanut, brazil nut, pumpkin, soya beans, walnut, pistachio, sesame and mustard.
Note that these food lists are not exhaustive, the most up to date information is on the Cross Reactivity Tool.
Allergen Encyclopedia - Pistachio
What Are the Symptoms of a Nut Allergy?
Allergy UK - Tree Nut Allergy Factsheet
FARE - Tree Nut Allergy
Healthline - FODMAP Foods
ATP Science - Salicylate Foods
Articles and Journals
Citrin: a novel food allergen in citrus seeds and citrus-derived pectin that shows cross-reactivity with cashew and pistachio
Pistachio Allergens: The Long Journey Between Mother and Daughter, 2023
Tree nut and peanut allergy in a Portuguese pediatric cohort - clinical characterization and anaphylaxis predictors, 2023
Quantitative In Silico Evaluation of Allergenic Proteins from Anacardium occidentale, Carya illinoinensis, Juglans regia and Pistacia vera and Their Epitopes as Precursors of Bioactive Peptides, 2022
Pistachio and cashew nut allergy in childhood: Predictive factors towards development of a decision tree, 2021
Cross-reactivity of pink peppercorn in cashew and pistachio allergic individuals, 2019
Tree nut allergens, 2018
Current perspectives on tree nut allergy: a review, 2018
Sensitization to cashew nut 2S albumin, Ana o 3, is highly predictive of cashew and pistachio allergy in Greek children, 2015
Cloning, expression, characterization, and computational approach for cross-reactivity prediction of manganese superoxide dismutase allergen from pistachio nut, 2010
Identification of two pistachio allergens, Pis v 1 and Pis v 2, belonging to the 2S albumin and 11S globulin family, 2009
2S Albumin Storage Proteins: What Makes them Food Allergens?, 2008
Pistachio vicilin, Pis v 3, is immunoglobulin E-reactive and cross-reacts with the homologous cashew allergen, Ana o 1, 2008
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