Sweet Potato Allergy Test
Latin name: Ipomoea batatas
Source material: Fresh sweet potato
Common names: Sweet Potato, Sweetpotato, Yam, Batata
Sweet potato is a food which may result in allergy symptoms in sensitised individuals.
Sweet Potato Allergy Test: Allergen Exposure
Despite its name, the sweet potato is not related to the potato, belonging instead to the same family as the morning glory. Similarly, while it is referred to in the United States as a “yam”, it is not related to the true yam (which is a member of the Dioscorea family).
It is native to Central America and the West Indies, and possibly also Indonesia and the Philippines. Today it is cultivated all over the world, specifically in tropical, sub-tropical and temperate climates.
It is cultivated primarily for the enlarged edible storage roots, which provide large amounts of starch, and is among only 7 crops whose annual production exceeds 100 million metric tons.
In most developing countries, the root has white to cream-coloured flesh and a bland, non-sweet flavor. In contrast, the type most used in developed countries has yellow or deep orange root flesh, a moist texture, a very distinct flavour, and high sugar content.
Sweet potatoes are a staple food of many peoples of the tropics, but in the industrialised world are principally a vegetable or a dessert. They are cooked, canned, frozen, dehydrated, and used as a source of flour, starch, glucose syrup and alcohol.
Various products such as candy, pastas, flour, and drinks are produced in local industries. Both the starchy roots and vines can be used as animal feed.
Nutrients supplied include vitamin C, iron, potassium, calcium, and fibre. The moist orange-fleshed variety is high in beta-carotene (a precursor of vitamin A).
Sweet potatoes contain trypsin inhibitors, and if eaten raw may reduce the ability to utilise protein. However, trypsin inhibitors do not survive cooking and are of no consequence in cooked roots.
The starch is used commercially for sizing textiles and papers, for the manufacture of adhesives, and in laundries. In the US, large quantities of Sweet potatoes, either freshly harvested or shredded and dried, are used as feed for livestock.
Sweet Potato Allergy Test: Allergen Description
No allergens present in sweet potato have yet been characterised.
A beta-amylase has been isolated, however its allergenic potential has not been evaluated.
Sweet Potato Allergy Test: Potential Cross-Reactivity
An extensive cross-reactivity among the different individual species of the genus could be expected, as well as to a certain degree among members of the family Convolvulaceae.
Sweet Potato Allergy Test: Clinical Experience
Anecdotal evidence suggests that Sweet potato can occasionally induce symptoms of food allergy in sensitised individuals; however, no studies have been reported to date.
Other species of Ipomea have been demonstrated to be involved in allergic pollinosis.
Sweet potato has been implicated as a cause of infantile food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES), a severe, cell-mediated gastrointestinal food hypersensitivity typically provoked by cow’s milk or soy.
Sweet potato may be infected with the mould Fusarium solani, which produces a toxic substance, furanoterpenoid.