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.
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.
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