Broccoli Allergy Test
Latin name: Brassica oleracea var. italica
Source material: Frozen florets
Common names: Broccoli, Spear Cauliflower, Winter Cauliflower, Purple Cauliflower, Calabrese, Romanesco
Broccoli is a food which may result in allergy symptoms in sensitised individuals.
Broccoli Allergy Test: Allergen Exposure
Broccoli is a member of the same family as cabbages, and known colloquially as a brassica. It was originally bred from domesticated variants of wild cabbage in the Mediterranean regions, and thrives in any climate with mild winters.
Unlike with its ancestor cabbage, the flower head is allowed to develop to an extent before broccoli is harvested. Broccoli must be cut as soon as it reaches full bud development, before buds swell and open into flowers.
The edible parts of the Broccoli plant are the stout, tender stem and unopened flower buds.
Varieties exist with white, yellow, purple and deep emerald-green heads. There are 3 main types of Broccoli.
The typical green or purple Broccoli with a large, central head is a “Calabrese”. “Romanesco” Broccolis have flower buds grouped in numerous small cone-shaped heads, arranged in spirals; the “Sprouting Broccolis” produce a succession of small flowering heads over an extended season.
It is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, as well as riboflavin, calcium and iron, and is a rich source of vitamin K, however it does reduce the absorption of iodine.
Vitamins and nutrients typically are more concentrated in the flower buds than in the leaves, and that makes Broccoli a better source of vitamins and nutrients than Brassica crops in which only the leaves are eaten.
Broccoli Allergy Test: Allergen Description
No allergens have been characterised to date, however a lipid transfer protein has been isolated from the surface wax of broccoli leaves.
Broccoli Allergy Test: Potential Cross-Reactivity
An extensive cross-reactivity among the different individual species of the genus could be expected, as well as to a certain degree among members of the family Brassicaceae, such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and cabbage.
This has been supported by a study that reported cross-reactivity among cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, mustard, rape and turnip.
Cross reactivity among other plants containing LTP is also possible.
Broccoli Allergy Test: Clinical Experience
Anecdotal evidence suggests that Broccoli can occasionally induce symptoms of food allergy in sensitised individuals; however, few studies have been reported to date.
A positive reaction to broccoli in a skin test of a female patient has been reported (8). She experienced pain and swelling in the mouth and throat, plus breathing difficulties, after intake of coleslaw.
Allergic and occupational contact dermatitis to Broccoli has been reported. A 56-year-old female nurse presented with a 3-year history of severe eczema and recurrent blisters of her palms, with the left being more severely affected than the right. She was patch tested with, and showed a positive reaction to broccoli. The patient’s hand eczema improved remarkably on avoiding direct contact with broccoli and other vegetables.
In another study, maternal intake of cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, cow’s milk, onion, and chocolate were significantly related to colic symptoms in exclusively breast-fed infants.