Lupin Seed Allergy Test
Latin name: Lupinus albus
Source material: Dried seeds
Family: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)
Common names: Lupin, Lupine, Blue lupin, White lupin, Yellow lupin, Sweet lupin
Synonyms: L. sativus, L. termis
Lupin seed is a food which may result in allergy symptoms in sensitised individuals.
Lupin Seed Allergy Test: Allergen Exposure
Lupin is a legume which has been grown traditionally for the production of animal feed, and also as a soil enhancer. It has also been cultivated by humans as a stock food for at least 2,000 years, most likely starting in Egypt.
Lupin seeds are employed as a protein-rich vegetable or savoury dish in all of the ways that cooked beans are used. They can also be roasted or ground into a powder and mixed with cereal flours. They have also used as a thickener of food products. Edible oil is obtained from the seed and the roasted seed is used as a coffee substitute. The seed is high in protein.
More recently, however, lupin seeds are increasingly being used in food manufacturing as an additive to other flours, where they contribute protein, bulk, fibre, and some textural properties. Therefore lupin can be regarded as a hidden allergen.
Use of lupin flour and bran in food production was initially restricted in some countries, however since the mid 1990s, using it as an additive to wheat flour has been allowed in the UK, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and Germany where it can be found in bread, biscuits and other baked products, pasta, confectionery, soya substitutes, and dietary and health foods.
Lupin oil is also used in making soap, and fibres obtained from the stems can be used to produce clothing and other textile products.
From a medicinal point of view the seeds are believed to be diuretic, emmenagogue, hypoglycaemic and vermifuge. When bruised and soaked in water, they are used as a poultice on ulcers or lesions.
Lupin Seed Allergy Test: Allergen Description
Several allergens present in lupin seeds have been characterised, including a globulin, a conglutin, a vicilin and a lipid transfer protein. An albumin has been isolated but is thought to be non-allergenic.
Lupin Seed Allergy Test: Potential Cross-Reactivity
An extensive cross-reactivity among the different individual species of the Fabaceae (legume family) could be expected but in fact does not occur frequently. Clinical studies have found little cross-reactivity among members of the legume family, with the possible exception of cross-reactivity between lupin seed and peanut.
Lupin Seed Allergy Test: Clinical Experience
Lupin flour may commonly induce symptoms of food allergy, allergic rhinitis and asthma in sensitised individuals after ingestion of the food or inhalation of the flour.
Lupin flour in food has also been reported to produce urticaria and anaphylaxis.
Contact urticaria elicited by Lupin has been reported.
Lupin allergy may arise either by primary sensitisation, or by clinical cross-reactivity in peanut-allergic persons.
Occupational allergy may occur to Lupin, particularly in mill workers.
The seeds of many Lupin species contain bitter-tasting toxic quinolizidine alkaloids, though there are often sweet varieties within the same species that are completely wholesome.
Fungal toxins also readily invade the crushed lupin seed and can cause chronic illness, though usually in animals rather than humans.