Sesame Seed Allergy Test
Latin name: Sesamum indicum
Source material: Unpolished seeds
Common names: Sesame seed, Sesame, Benne seed
Synonyms: S. indicum, S. radiatum, S. schum, S. thoron.
Sesame seed is a food which may result in allergy symptoms in sensitised individuals.
Sesame Seed Allergy Test: Allergen Exposure
Sesame seed originated in India, but is now grown throughout the world, including in the Middle East, the United States, Latin America, and China. The largest importers of sesame seed are Japan, the USA and Europe.
The fruit of the sesame plant is a small capsule containing many seeds, which are black, white, yellow or red. They are used in food either unprocessed or after hulling. Sesame seeds are used crushed, for their oil, and as cakes (the solid residue left after processing of the oil). About 70% of the world’s sesame seed is processed into oil and meal.
Sesame seed has been used as foodstuff, a source of oil and medicinally since ancient times. Today, the seed is available prepackaged in supermarkets and is sold in bulk in ethnic markets and health food stores. Sesame seeds often feature in candies and baked goods, and are a common ingredient in savoury dishes of ethnic cuisines.
The seed can also be ground and used as flour, or as butter, known as “tahini”. It can also be fermented into “tempeh”, or ground into a powder and mixed with a sweetener to make “halva”. The seeds can also be sprouted and used in salads.
Sesame seed is a good source of vitamins A, B and E and contains high levels of unsaturated fatty acids, calcium, and protein.
Sesame Seed Allergy Test: Allergen Description
Various allergens present in sesame seed have been characterised, including albumins, oleosins, a globulin and a profilin. Sesame seed has recently been shown to contain a lipid transfer protein, however its allergenic potential has not been evaluated.
Sesame Seed Allergy Test: Potential Cross-Reactivity
Cross-reactivity between allergens in sesame and allergens in other foods, including hazel nut, rye, kiwi, poppy seed, black walnut, cashew, macadamia, pistachio, and peanuts, has been reported.
Allergy to kiwi, poppy seeds, and/or sesame seeds has been reported to often occur in patients with a simultaneous sensitisation to nuts and flour.
Sesame Seed Allergy Test: Clinical Experience
Sesame seed has become a significant and common inducer of food allergy symptoms in sensitised individuals.
Sesame seed hypersensitivity is increasing due to the increasing popularity of vegetarian diets, its use as an ingredient in baked goods and fast food, and also the growing popularity of cuisines which feature the seed. It is regarded as an “emerging” food allergen.
Numerous types of allergic reaction have been reported, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, angioedema, angioedema of the tongue, burning of the mouth and lips, itching of the pharynx, symptoms of oral allergy syndrome, wheezing, respiratory distress asthma, contact dermatitis and urticaria.
Severe food-induced anaphylaxis has also been reported.
Immediate hypersensitivity reactions to Sesame in cosmetics have been reported.
If the extraction process for Sesame oil is not of a high standard, Sesame protein may be present in the oil, which can result in allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, in sensitised individuals.
Salmonella outbreaks have been reported as a result of contaminated Sesame seed products, including halva and tahini.