Almond Allergy Test
Latin name: Amygdalus communis
Source material: Shelled almonds
Common names: Almond, Sweet Almond, Bitter Almond
Synonyms: A. dulcis, Prunus amygdalus and P. dulcis
Almond is a food which may result in allergy symptoms in sensitised individuals.
Almond Allergy Test: Allergen Exposure
The almond is commonly described as a nut, although it is in fact a kernel stone fruit, or drupe which is structurally very similar to the peach, although significantly smaller at around 40mm in length. In the opposite manner to the peach, the fleshy outer part of the almond is not generally used as a food stuff, however the inner kernel is.
It is cultivated principally in northern Africa, southern Europe, Australia and the warmer parts of the United States, particularly California, growing best in areas with dry, warm summers.
Traditionally almonds have been used extensively in Arabic dishes and Indian cuisine. Sweet almonds (fresh, blanched, roasted, candied, and smoked; whole, sliced, chopped, and in paste form) are readily available in markets and are used in a variety of recipes, especially for sweets and confectionery.
The purified fixed oil from both varieties of almonds has food uses, particularly as a condiment.
Almonds are an excellent source of multiple vitamins and minerals, including calcium, fibre, folic acid, magnesium, potassium, riboflavin and vitamin E.
Medicinally, externally applied Almond oil is an emollient; taken internally, a laxative, nutritional substitute and supplement (particularly in cases of diabetes), and a remedy for nervous system disorders such as whooping cough and spasmodic troubles.
Almond oil and paste are often used in the production of cosmetics and toiletries.
Almond Allergy Test: Allergen Description
A number of allergens have been isolated, including a 2S albumin, a conglutin, a lipid transfer protein, a profilin and an acid ribosomal protein.
Almond Allergy Test: Potential Cross-Reactivity
An extensive cross-reactivity among the different members of the family, and in particular of the genus, could be expected, and potential clinical allergy to other Rosaceae species should not be overlooked.
Cross reactivity with walnut, sunflower seed, brazil nut and peanut can be expected.
Cross-reactivity between Almond profilin and other profilin-containing plants is possible.
The existence of common antigenic bands between Pine nut and Almond has been reported, and this may result in cross-reactivity between these foods.
An association between pollen allergy and Almond allergy has been reported.
Almond Allergy Test: Clinical Experience
Almond may frequently result in sensitisation and may commonly induce symptoms of food allergy.
In general, nut allergies are potentially life-threatening and uncommonly outgrown, and appear to be increasing in prevalence.
In studies of patients with nut allergy, peanuts are usually found to be the commonest cause, followed by brazil nut, almond, and hazelnut. Other reports have indicated that the most common tree nut allergies are to walnut, almond, and pecan nut.
Adverse effects result from a first exposure in 72% of cases. 89% of the reactions involved the skin (urticaria, angioedema), 52% the respiratory tract (wheezing, throat tightness, repetitive coughing, dyspnoea), and 32% the gastrointestinal tract (vomiting, diarrhoea). Two organ systems were affected in 31% of initial reactions, and all 3 in 21% of reactions.
Asthma may occasionally be associated with almond.
Cyanide poisoning after bitter almond ingestion has been reported.