Red Kidney Bean Allergy Test
Latin name: Phaseolus vulgaris
Source material: Dried beans
Family: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)
Common names: Red kidney bean, Kidney bean, Bean
Synonyms: P. vulgaris var. humilis, P. vulgaris var. mexicanus
Red kidney bean is a food which may result in allergy symptoms in sensitised individuals.
Red Kidney Bean Allergy Test: Allergen Exposure
Named for its visual resemblance in shape and colour to a kidney, the red kidney bean is one of the most widely consumed beans in the world. Thought to have originated in Peru, and to have been cultivated as much as 8,000 years ago, they served as an important food source for indigenous communities.
Today, they are widespread, and form an integral part of cuisines as diverse as Indian, Creole, Caribbean, Indonesian and South and Central American.
As they maintain their texture relatively well even after prolonged cooking, they are often used in slow cooked dishes including stews, soups and broths. They are featured in chili, Caribbean red beans and rice, and many Indian dishes.
Red kidney beans can also be used to make desserts, including red bean ice cream, which is popular in Asia.
Nutritionally they are mostly composed of carbohydrates and fibre, but also contain a high level of protein. They are also rich in various vitamins and minerals, including molybdenum, folate, copper, potassium, iron and manganese, as well as vitamin K1.
As with other related legumes, in their unprocessed state red kidney beans contain certain toxins, which must be eliminated before consumption. Raw red kidney beans contain relatively high amounts of phytohemagglutinin, and thus are actually more toxic than most other bean varieties. They must be pre-soaked and subsequently boiled for at least 10 minutes to be safe to eat.
Canned red kidney beans provide a safer alternative to dried beans, being precooked and safe to use on opening.
Red kidney beans are also the source of a brown dye, of a fluid for treating used woollen fabrics, and of phaseolin, which has a fungicidal activity.
Red Kidney Bean Allergy Test: Allergen Description
No allergens present in red kidney beans have been characterised to date.
An alpha-amylase inhibitor has been detected, although the allergenicity of this protein is currently unknown.
Red Kidney Bean Allergy Test: Potential Cross-Reactivity
An extensive cross-reactivity among the different individual species of the genus could be expected but in fact is not seen frequently. This is supported by clinical studies which have found that there is little cross-reactivity among members of the Fabaceae (Leguminosae) family.
Red Kidney Bean Allergy Test: Clinical Experience
Red kidney bean does not commonly induce symptoms of food allergy in sensitised individuals, but as with other legumes, allergic reactions are possible.
Contact dermatitis to red kidney bean, along with skin reactivity has been reported.
Red kidney beans contain haemagglutinating lectins, which are toxic. The root is dangerously narcotic. Large quantities of the raw mature seed are poisonous.
Occupational contact dermatitis caused by leaves of the Phaseolus plant has been reported.
Consumption of red kidney beans is often associated with bloating and flatulence.