Pumpkin Seed Allergy Test
Latin name: Cucurbita pepo
Source material: Peeled seeds
Common names: Pumpkin, Field pumpkin, Naked-seeded pumpkin, Pimpkin
Synonyms: C. moschata, C. maxima, C. mixta, Cucumis pepo
Pumpkin seed is a food which may result in allergy symptoms in sensitised individuals.
Pumpkin Seed Allergy Test: Allergen Exposure
The pumpkin is a gourd-like squash with a large, round, ribbed, edible orange fruit. Pumpkins are one of the oldest domesticated plants, having been used as early as 7,500 to 5,000 BC.
It is thought to have originated in Central America, possibly Mexico, but is now grown widely in temperate and tropical zones. Today, the biggest international producers of pumpkins include the United States, Canada, Mexico, India, and China.
The pumpkin seed can be eaten raw or cooked, and oil can be extracted from it. Pumpkin seeds are rich in iron, zinc, magnesium, polyunsaturated fatty acids, potassium, vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and folate. They also contain antioxidants such as carotenoids and vitamin E.
Pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seed powder have been shown to reduce blood sugar levels, which has potential applications for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, although more research is needed.
The seeds, with their hulls intact, can be roasted or deep-fried and eaten as a salted snack, like nuts, especially popular in Central American countries. They can be added to salads, soups or cereals, as well as to baked goods.
Pumpkin seeds are a source of vegetable oil, but it is difficult to obtain due to the small size of the seed and fibrous nature of the hull, which is difficult to remove. Flour may also be produced from the seeds, and mixed with other cereals for making bread, etc. The seeds can also be sprouted and used in salads, etc.
Pumpkin seeds are rich in protein.
Medicinally, they have been used for tapeworm removal, particularly as a safer alternative to less gentle methods for small children or pregnant women. The seeds were also used in traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of the parasitic disease schistosomiasis.
Pumpkin Seed Allergy Test: Allergen Description
No allergens from the pumpkin seed have yet been characterised, although a profilin has been isolated from the pulp.
Pumpkin Seed Allergy Test: Potential Cross-Reactivity
An extensive cross-reactivity among the different individual species of the genus could be expected. Clinical cross-reactivity has been demonstrated among pumpkin, pumpkin seed, muskmelon, watermelon, cucumber and zucchini.
Pumpkin Seed Allergy Test: Clinical Experience
Pumpkin can induce symptoms of food allergy in sensitised individuals. Dermatitis, asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis, itching of the mouth, angioedema of the face and lips, generalised itching and mild dyspnoea after eating pumpkin soup or vermicelli made with pumpkin have been reported in a patient.
Similar symptoms have been reported in 3 individuals after ingestion of roasted pumpkin seed. All the patients fished for sport and used pressed pumpkin seed flour as bait. inhalation of pumpkin seed flour during fishing was suggested as the route of sensitisation, leading to food allergy to pumpkin seed.
Pumpkin seeds may be aspirated into the trachea in young children.
The sprouting seed produces a toxic substance.