Other Food Allergens

What are they?

While only nine foods (milk, egg, peanut, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, wheat, soy, and sesame) account for approximately 90 percent of all food-allergic reactions, a person can be allergic to virtually any food. Although the list below is by no means exhaustive, allergic reactions have been reported to corn, gelatin, meat (beef, chicken, mutton, and pork), seeds (sesame, sunflower, and poppy being the most common), and spices such as caraway, coriander, garlic, and mustard.

Allergic reactions to fresh fruits and vegetables, such as apple, carrot, peach, plum, tomato and banana, to name a few, are often diagnosed as Oral Allergy Syndrome.

Uncommon Food Allergies

Corn Allergy

Allergic reactions to corn are rare and a relatively small number of case reports can be found in medical literature. However, the reports do indicate that reactions to corn can be severe. Reactions to corn can occur from both raw and cooked corn. Individuals who are allergic to corn should receive individualized expert guidance from their allergists.

Meat Allergy

Allergies to meats, such as beef, chicken, mutton or pork, are also rare.  A person who is allergic to one type of meat may not need to avoid other types of meat. Heating and cooking meat can reduce the allergenicity of product.

Some may wonder whether or not an individual who is allergic to milk should also avoid beef. It is not generally advised for individuals with a milk allergy to also avoid beef, and the majority of those allergic to milk can safely eat beef products. However, one study showed that almost eight percent of the 62 children with milk allergy studied also reacted to beef. The study also suggests that well-cooked beef is less likely to be problematic for those allergic to milk.

Similarly, those with egg allergy are generally not advised to also avoid poultry, and vice versa.

Gelatin Allergy

Gelatin is a protein that is formed when skin or connective tissue is boiled. Although rare, allergic reactions to gelatin have been reported.

Many vaccines contain porcine gelatin as a stabilizer. Allergy to gelatin is a common cause of an allergic reaction to vaccines. Individuals who have experienced symptoms of an allergic reaction after consuming gelatin should discuss this with their health care provider before getting vaccinated. If a severe allergy to gelatin is known, vaccines that contain gelatin as a component should be avoided.

Seed Allergy

Allergic reactions to seeds can be severe. Sesame, sunflower, and poppy seeds have been known to cause anaphylaxis.

The estimated prevalence of seed allergy is not known. In a study published in 2010, however, researchers at New York’s Mount Sinai School of Medicine concluded that 0.1 percent of the general population may have a sesame allergy, based on a national survey that focused primarily on the prevalence of peanut and tree nut allergy.

Seeds are often used in bakery and bread products, and extracts of some seeds have been found in hair care products. Some seed oils are highly refined, a process that removes the proteins from the oil. However, as not all seed oils are highly refined, individuals with a seed allergy should be careful when eating foods prepared with seed oils.

Spice Allergy

Allergies to spices, such as coriander, garlic, and mustard, are rare and are usually mild, although severe reactions to spices have been reported. Some spices cross-react with mugwort and birch pollen, so patients who are sensitive to these environmental allergens are at a higher risk for developing an allergy to spice.


We’d love to meet with you to address your allergy concerns.



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500 S. University Avenue
Little Rock, Arkansas 72205


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