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Cross Reactions Common
Nuts are hard-shelled dry fruits or seeds with a separable woody rind and an edible interior kernel. Almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, Pecan nuts, cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts and macadamias belong to the most common triggers for nut allergies and have therefore to be labelled on food packaging for consumer protection. Allergic reactions may be severe. Furthermore, allergic persons frequently react to various tree nuts or additionally show symptoms of pollen associated reactions. The allergenic proteins are mainly storage proteins (2S albumines, vicilline, legumine). Besides, lipid transfer proteins (LTP) play a role. As so called panallergens, they are responsible for the allergenicity even of non related nuts.
Determination of nuts is possible with an immunological ELISA method or molecular PCR. Some proteins display very similar structures, as a result cross reactions in the presence of different nuts may be possible. On a DNA level a differentiation of phylogenetically related species is feasible. We are happy to advise you whether a determination of the protein is suitable for your product. We offer specific and sensitive real time PCR methods for various nuts.
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