Cauliflower Allergy Test


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Cauliflower Allergy Test

Code: f291
Latin name: Brassica oleracea var. botrytis
Family: Brassicaceae
Common names: Cauliflower, Broccoflower, Calabrese, Romanesco

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

Cauliflower Allergy Test: Allergen Exposure

Cauliflower originated in the Mediterranean region from a loose-leafed wild plant which was domesticated and eventually bred into a number of varying forms of the same species which are cultivated today, including cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprout, kale and kohlrabi.

Cauliflower is a cool-season annual, coming in white (the most popular and readily available), lime-green and purple varieties. Cauliflower is relatively difficult to grow compared to cabbage, with common problems such as an underdeveloped head and poor curd quality.

The floret portion, known as the curd or head is entirely edible. The leaves at the base of the cauliflower head are also edible, though less often consumed.

The florets can be eaten raw or cooked in a number of ways, including boiling, baking and sautéing. They often appear in soups, or as a side dish smothered with a cheese sauce, or served raw on a crudité platter. Cauliflower is high in vitamin C and is a fairly good source of iron, as well as containing moderate levels of vitamin K and several B vitamins.

Cauliflower (and other members of the genus Brassica) contain very high levels of antioxidant and anticancer compounds.

Vitamins and nutrients typically are more concentrated in flower buds than in leaves, and that makes Cauliflower a better source of vitamins and nutrients than Brassica crops in which only the leaves are eaten.

Research has suggested that the compounds in Cauliflower and other Brassicae can protect the eyes against macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in older people.

Cauliflower Allergy Test: Allergen Description

No allergens present in cauliflower have yet been characterised.

A lipid transfer protein (LTP) has been isolated from a close family member, Broccoli, suggesting that Cauliflower may contain an LTP, however as yet this has not been demonstrated.

Cauliflower 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, brussels sprouts, and cabbage.

This has been supported by a study that reported cross-reactivity among cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, mustard, rape and turnip.

Cross reactivity among other plants containing LTP is also possible.

Cauliflower Allergy Test: Clinical Experience

Anecdotal evidence suggests that Cauliflower can uncommonly induce symptoms of food allergy in sensitised individuals; however, few studies have been reported to date.

A 70-year-old man suffered acute oropharyngeal itching, facial and hand swelling, dyspnoea and severe bronchospasm within a few minutes after eating vegetable paella containing cauliflower. The report concluded that the patient experienced an IgE-mediated anaphylactic reaction to cauliflower.

In one Indian study of 24 children analysis for a range of food items found that 19 children with documented deterioration in control of their perennial asthma had IgE antibodies directed at cauliflower.

Other reactions

Maternal intake of cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, cow’s milk, onion, and chocolate were significantly related to colic symptoms in exclusively breast-fed infants.

Cauliflower is also said to cause flatulence.