Cheese (Mold type) Allergy Test
Source material: A mixture of white, soft cheeses
Common names: Various types including Camembert, Brie, Gorgonzola, Roquefort
Cheese (Mold type) is a food which may result in allergy symptoms in sensitised individuals.
Cheese (Mold type) Allergy Test: Allergen Exposure
Cheese is a dairy product derived from milk and is produced by controlled coagulation of the milk protein casein. During production an enzyme is added to milk causing it to separate into solid and liquid constituents (curds and whey) and the solid portion is separated and used to produce cheese.
It has been produced since ancient times, and there is an extremely wide variety of types available which differ from one another in their precise methods of production and aging.
Mold type cheeses use cultures of the mold Penicillium which are added during production so that the final product is spotted or veined throughout with blue mold that carries a distinct smell. It is believed that this method of cheesemaking was discovered by accident, when cheeses were stored in caves to mature, and the damp conditions favoured the growth of molds on and within the cheese.
Mold type cheeses can be eaten on their own or can be spread, crumbled or melted into or over foods. They are also used to flavour sauces and stews and are prized for their sharp and salty flavour.
The distinctive flavor and aroma of blue cheese arises from methyl ketoneswhich are a metabolic product of the artificially introduced bacteria Penicillium roqueforti. These compounds do not occur in other types of cheese, which are fermented solely by bacterial acidification.
Cheese (Mold type) Allergy Test: Allergen Description
The most important allergen in cheese is casein. Although mold type cheeses contain penicillin, it is broken down during the aging process by enzymes within the cheese, and does not therefore pose a problem for penicillin-allergic patients.
Cheese (Mold type) Allergy Test: Potential Cross-Reactivity
In general, patients allergic to inhaled mold spores are not allergic to mold type cheese.
Cheese (Mold type) Allergy Test: Clinical Experience
Skin reactivity to cheese has been reported. Allergy-like non-immune response to cheese may be caused by tyramine. Cheeses may also be rich in histamine.
Research suggests that some types of milk proteins (casein and two proteins found in whey, alpha-lactalbumin and beta-lactalbumin) are more likely to cause serious reactions.
In a recent review of atopic food allergy, cheese was the third most important allergen involved in 12.9% of 402 predominantly adults with confirmed food allergy.
Symptoms may include hives, stomach pain, flatulence, diarrhoea or loose stools, vomiting and anaphylaxis.
Dairy allergy is relatively common in infants and young children, but studies suggest that 4 out of 5 children will have outgrown their allergy by the age of 16.
Cheese may contain tyramine and histamine, which cause allergy-like non-immune responses.
Soybean protein isolates, used as additives, sometimes replace up to 30% of the casein in cheese.
Egg lysozyme is sometimes added to cheese as a preservative.
Cheese may cause heightened symptoms in sufferers of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) as it is relatively difficult to break down.
Lactose intolerance is a digestive reaction to the sugar found in milk.