Coffee Allergy Test
Latin name: Coffea spp.
Common names: Coffee
Synonyms: C. arabica, C. canephora, C. liberica
Coffee is a food which may result in allergy symptoms in sensitised individuals.
Coffee Allergy Test: Allergen Exposure
Coffee comes from an evergreen shrub grown mainly in the warmer, more moist and mountainous regions of the world. The dried seeds of this plant, known commonly as coffee beans are roasted, ground, and brewed to make the drink known as coffee. Coffee is mainly produced in Ethiopia, the West Indies, and Central and South America.
Coffee beans have been used as a masticatory since ancient times in Ethiopia, and are also cooked in butter to make rich flat cakes. In Arabia a fermented drink made from the pulp is consumed. Coffee is widely used as a flavouring, particularly in ice cream, pastries, candies, and liqueurs.
Coffee pulp and parchment are used as manures and mulches, and in India they are occasionally fed to cattle. Coffelite, a type of plastic, is made from coffee beans. Coffee with iodine is used as a deodorant.
The caffeine from coffee is commonly extracted and used as an additive in over-the-counter diet pills, painkillers, and stimulants.
Coffee Allergy Test: Allergen Description
Coffee allergens resulting in occupational allergy (asthma, allergic rhinitis and allergic conjunctivitis) have been described.
No allergens resulting in food-allergic reactions have been described to date.
In a study of occupational asthma caused by roasted coffee, immunologic evidence has been suggested that roasted coffee contains the same antigens as green coffee, but at a lower concentration.
Coffee Allergy Test: Potential Cross-Reactivity
No cross-reactivity to coffee allergens has been documented to date. However, adverse reactions to additives present in coffee, and also present in another food, may result in an impression that this has occurred.
Coffee Allergy Test: Clinical Experience
Allergic reactions to ingestion of coffee are uncommon. Clinical reactions may be difficult to differentiate from those caused by caffeine or other additives. Instant coffee may have additives and coffee substitutes added, e.g. roasted chicory, chickpea, cereal, fruits and vegetables.
Anecdotal reports of coffee being responsible for migraine, asthma, gastro-intestinal complaints, cutaneous and other manifestations have not been verified.
An early article reported that skin reactions had been described. The article references an earlier article that described itching, urticaria, angioneurotic oedema, intestinal spasms, diarrhoea, and rhinopathy resulting from exposure to coffee.
In an early paper on adverse effects of coffee, four of five cases reported were said to represent true allergic manifestations to coffee. The first patient reported severe migraine following coffee ingestion; the second complained of gastroenteritis and headache, occurring only during the pollen season; a third described gastroenteritis, malaise, headache, and allergic rhinitis; and the fourth complained of widespread urticaria.
A 39-year-old woman who had been working in a coffee bar for 12 years reported chronic hand dermatitis: erythema, scaling and fissuring on the palms, fingertips and lateral aspects of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd fingers of both hands.
Coffee has been suspected of contributing to the development of chronic airflow obstruction (COPD) and bronchial cancer.
If coffee is taken in large quantities by pregnant women, there is an increased risk of neonatal apnoea in the newborn.
Cheilitis due to coffee ingestion has been reported. Eosinophilic cystitis attributed to drinking coffee has also been reported.