Key Allergens

Poppy seeds are in the Papaveraceae family of plants. The seeds are the edible part of the poppy flower.

With the increase in consumption of more vegetarian and vegan foods the use of poppy seeds in foods has increased. It is not considered to be a very common allergen.

Poppy seeds have been found to contain profilin allergens, those especially sensitive to these proteins may have allergic reactions to poppy seeds.

Allergic reactions caused by eating poppy seeds are sometimes thought 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.

A recent study in August 2023 has found that poppy seeds contain 7S globulin proteins and 11S globulin proteins more commonly found in nuts and seeds. Individuals sensitive to these proteins may react to the 7S and 11S globulin proteins in the seeds.

Food Intolerances

Food is low in salicylates

Poppy seeds are low in salicylates, so are OK for people to consume if sensitive to salicylates.

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

Associated Syndromes

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

Cross Reactivity

If sensitised to birch pollen you may have Pollen Food Allergy Syndrome and may also react to apple, carrot, kiwi, pear, peach, plum, nectarine, apricots, cherries, tomato, celery, potato, parsnip, pepper, cumin, peas, dill, aniseed, hazelnut, walnut, almonds, coriander, peanuts, lentils, mango and beans.

Other plants containing profilin proteins are kiwi, dates, pineapple, celery, peanut, chilli, watermelon, orange, hazelnut, muskmelon, carrot, strawberry, soya beans, barley, walnut, lychee, lupin, apple, banana, cherry, almond, peach, pear, mustard, tomato, aubergine and wheat.

Other food containing 7S seed storage proteins include coconut, legumes, chia seeds, palm oil, peanuts, peas, pecans, pine nuts, quinoa, sesame seeds, soya and walnuts.

11S seed storage proteins are also found in almond, brazil nuts, cashew, chia seeds, green bean, hazelnuts, kiwi, macadamia nuts, mustard seeds, peanuts, pink peppercorns, pumpkin, quinoa, sesame seeds and soya.

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



Allergen Encyclopedia - Poppy Seeds

Allergy information for: Poppy seed (Papaver somniferum)

Allergic Living - All About Sesame, Other Seed Allergies

ASCIA - Peanut, tree nut and seed allergies

Science Direct - Papaver somniferum

ATP Science - Salicylate Food List

Articles and Journals

The Sensitization Profile for Selected Food Allergens in Polish Children Assessed with the Use of a Precision Allergy Molecular Diagnostic Technique, 2024

Food allergy outside the eight big foods in Europe: A systematic review and meta-analysis, 2024

CRD and beyond: multivariable regression models to predict severity of hazelnut allergy, 2023

Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) Seed Allergy: A Case Series, 2023

Clinical and immunological characterization of perilla seed allergy in children, 2022

Anaphylaxis in an Eight-year-old Boy Following the Consumption of Poppy Seed, 2020

Hypersensitivities to sesame and other common edible seeds, 2016

Poppy seed allergy: a case report and review of the literature, 2006

Cross-reactivity from poppy seed to buckwheat in a food allergic patient with poppy seed anaphylaxis, 2004

Serological characterization of allergens in poppy seeds, 1999

Common allergenic structures in hazelnut, rye grain, sesame seeds, kiwi, and poppy seeds, 1993

Let me know if you found any of these interesting or useful. If you spot an article or research that you think is interesting you can message me or tag me on Facebook or Twitter - links at the bottom of the page.

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