Blackberry Allergy Test


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Blackberry Allergy Test

Code: f211
Latin name: Rubus fruticosus
Source material: Frozen fruit
Family: Rosaceae
Common names: Blackberry, Common blackberry, Allegheny blackberry, European blackberry, Bramble, Bramble-kite, Brambleberry, Brameberry

Blackberry is a food which may result in allergy symptoms in sensitised individuals.

Blackberry Allergy Test: Allergen Exposure

Blackberry is not a true berry but a conglomerate fruit, related more closely to fruits such as apple and peach than to commonly known berries such as gooseberry, blueberry and tomato. Native to the United Kingdom, blackberry plants are woody, evergreen and form tangled, scrambling stems. The fruit when ripe consists of a cone shaped base bearing a tight cluster of small, purple to black coloured droplets.

Blackberries grow widely in hedgerows, woodland and in open meadows however the difficulty of gathering large amounts of the wild fruit efficiently means that the majority of commercially sold blackberries are farmed. The fruit is consumed raw, as well as being used in cooking, and is a popular ingredient in preserves, liqueurs and desserts. The dried leaves can be consumed as a tea or infusion, and the shoots can be eaten raw in salads. The root can be cooked.

Both the leaves and root bark are strongly astringent, depurative, diuretic, tonic and vulnerary. They are commonly used as a natural remedy for conditions such as dysentery, diarrhoea, haemorrhoids, cystitis. External use is also reported for treating sore throats, mouth ulcers, thrush and gum inflammations. Blackberry contains salicylates, which are a natural form of the active ingredient in aspirin.

Blackberry stem fibres may also be used in the manufacture of twine, and the fruit can provide a purple dye.

Blackberry Allergy Test: Allergen Description

No allergens from blackberry have so far been characterised.

Blackberry Allergy Test: Potential Cross-Reactivity

As a species of the Rosaceae family and genus Rubus, blackberry might be expected to show cross-reactivity with family members almond, apple, apricot, etc, or more particularly genus members cloudberry, dewberry, raspberry, etc, however no such cross-reactivity has yet been reported or documented.

Blackberry Allergy Test: Clinical Experience

Although hypersensitivity to the pollen and fruit of the Mulberry tree has been reported, allergy to blackberry has rarely been reported. This may be related to the general low allergenicity of this berry, the small amounts consumed or the restricted time frame of consumption.

Low exposure to certain allergens might be the reason for the limited complaints recorded so far, and this may change with the increasing dietary prevalence of small fruits and berries. Anecdotal reports aside, only one report has been published in medical literature.

Nevertheless, it is possible that blackberry may induce symptoms in food-sensitive individuals, and should not be entirely discounted as a potential cause, particularly in patients with a history of sensitivity to Rosacea family fruits, or in the case of pollen-sensitised patients with oral allergy syndrome.

Other reactions

The salicylate content of blackberries may cause adverse reactions in any individual with a documented intolerance to aspirin.

Some individuals have reported stomach or digestive complaints linked to the consumption of raw, underripe blackberry fruit, however this is not believed to be an allergic response.