Pollock Allergy Test
Latin name: Pollachius virens
Source material: Fillet
Synonyms: Pollachius pollachius, Pollachius virens
Pollock is a food which may result in allergy symptoms in sensitised individuals.
Pollachius virens is also known as “coley” in the British Isles.
Pollock Allergy Test: Allergen Exposure
Pollock is a whitefish which is often consumed as a cheaper alternative to cod and haddock, and has gained recent popularity due to overfishing of these two species.
The flesh is relatively strongly flavoured when compared to other whitefish, and slightly grey in colour, turning firm when cooked. Salted and smoked pollock takes on an orange hue which is similar to that of smoked salmon, and in Germany it is commonly sold as “Seelachs” (“sea salmon”).
It is regarded as a low risk species for mercury contamination, and therefore safe to eat in moderation even during childhood or pregnancy.
Pollock is widespread in processed fish-based foods such as fish fingers, fish burgers and imitation crab meat. It is also a popular ingredient in the British dish fish and chips. In Norway it is used to make deep fried fish balls, in Scotland it is often served breaded with oatmeal and fried whole.
Pollock is very low in saturated fat and relatively high in protein. It is a good source of riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, magnesium and potassium, and an excellent source of protein, vitamin B12, phosphorus and selenium.
Pollock Allergy Test: Allergen Description
No specific allergens present in pollock have been characterised, although a number of proteins have been identified.
Pollock Allergy Test: Potential Cross-Reactivity
Species within groups of fish such as Gadiformes (examples: pollock and cod) and Scombroid fishes (examples: mackerel and tuna) seem to share allergenic components.
A study evaluated the cross-reactivity among 9 common edible fish – cod, salmon, pollock, mackerel, tuna, herring, wolffish, halibut, and flounder. Cross reactivity was demonstrated between herring and wolffish, whereas halibut, flounder, tuna, and mackerel displayed the lowest cross-reactivities.
Pollock Allergy Test: Clinical Experience
Sensitisation to fish allergen is common. Fish, including pollock, is a potential cause of food allergy and atopic dermatitis. Whitefish, including hake as well as cod, pollock, halibut, whiting, bass and flounder are among the most common types of fish resulting in allergic reactions.
Immediate allergic reactions may follow ingestion of even minute amounts of fish.
Symptoms can include oral allergy syndrome, generalised urticaria, facial angioedema and anaphylaxis.
Because patients react to both cooked and raw fish, it is assumed the allergens are heat-resistant. However, more recent studies indicate that patients may react differently to processed food and that allergic reactions may be species-specific.
It has been reported that some fish allergic persons can exhibit allergic symptoms due to the steam (airborne allergens) from cooking fish.
Acute anisakiasis as a result of the larvae of the fish parasite Anisakis simplex may occur following ingestion of undercooked or raw pollock.
Symptoms can include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, abdominal distention, diarrhea, blood and mucus in stool, and mild fever. Allergic reactions with rash and itching, and infrequently, anaphylaxis, can also occur.
Fish allergy is sometimes confused with a reaction to histamine in spoiled fish.