Alergénio Mostarda - Fidu | Alimentos Inclusivos

Allergen: Mustard

The mustard plant belongs to the Brassicaceae family and exists in different varieties. White and yellow mustard (Sinapis alba L.), black mustard (Brassica nigra L.) and brown/oriental mustard (Brassica juncea L.) are the main types of mustard seeds used in cooking and in the food industry. Mustard oil is also widely used as an edible oil and as a flavoring in Indian cuisine. (1)
Mustard is a very potent allergen that, even in small doses, can cause anaphylactic shock. (2) It is estimated that doses of about 1mg of protein are sufficient to trigger a reaction in people who are allergic to mustard. (1)
The main proteins in mustard are heat resistant and not greatly affected by food processing. Therefore, people with a mustard allergy will react to mustard in cooked meals. (3)

Mustard allergy symptoms
Mustard allergy symptoms can come on quickly (usually within minutes, but sometimes up to two hours). Mild symptoms may include a rash (hives) anywhere on the body, tingling, itchy mouth, or rhinitis.
More serious symptoms may include: swelling of the face, throat and/or mouth, difficulty breathing, severe asthma, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. In some cases, a drastic drop in blood pressure, collapse, unconsciousness and anaphylactic shock can occur. (3)
The risk of severe reactions and anaphylaxis to mustard appears to be greater in adults than in children. Anaphylactic reactions were reported in 2% of children and 48% of adults with confirmed mustard allergy. (1)

Cross-reaction in Mustard Allergy
Cross-reactivity occurs when people who are allergic to a specific food also react to a different food because of the similarity of their proteins.
Plants from the Brassicaceae family, to which mustard belongs, can trigger adverse reactions in mustard allergy sufferers. Examples of these plants are broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, Chinese cabbage, turnips, radishes, canola and rapeseed. Highly refined rapeseed and rapeseed oils are not considered a risk for people with a mustard allergy, but less refined cold-pressed rapeseed oils may contain residual protein and should be avoided by people with a mustard allergy. (4)
There is a high association between Artemisia vulgaris pollen sensitization and mustard allergy as part of the “Celery-Artemisia-Birch-Spice Syndrome”. (1)
There are also reports of a significant association between allergies to nuts (almonds, walnuts, pistachios and hazelnuts) and spices, including mustard.
Some people with a mustard allergy are also allergic to fresh fruits, such as peaches, apples, pears, apricots, cherries, plums, kiwis, or melons. (3)

Once a mustard allergy is diagnosed, the treatment of choice is to avoid all foods that contain mustard. When we talk about mustard, we remember the yellow sauce made from its seeds, and this one seems easy to avoid, but it can be present in many processed foods due to its wide use in the industry. That's why it's very important to carefully read all food labels. Mustard is part of the list of ingredients that must be declared in the European Union, so it should appear highlighted on the labeling. (3) Find out which foods have or may contain mustard in their composition, in the table below.
All foods derived from the mustard plant, including mustard leaves, seeds and flowers, sprouted mustard seeds, mustard oil that are likely to cause reactions in people with a mustard allergy. Being therefore advised to avoid it in all its forms. (3)

Foods that have or may contain mustard: (4, 5, 6)
Foods That Have or May Contain Mustard

Although mustard is an allergen that is not directly related to our products, it is part of Fidu's mission to inform and raise awareness of different food allergies and intolerances. Mustard is one of the 14 allergens of mandatory declaration in the European Union, being therefore one of the 14 allergens that we control in our selection of raw materials and suppliers, so that there is no risk of cross-contamination of our products, facilities and equipment.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The content of this article is merely informative and should not replace medical indications. If you suspect that you suffer from this type of allergy, you should seek medical advice.

(1) NDA, 2016. Scientific Opinion on the evaluation of allergenic foods and food ingredients for labeling purposes. EFSA Journal, 12(11).
(2) SPAIC Food Allergy Interest Group, 2017. Food Allergy: Concepts, Advice and Precautions, 1st Edition. Lisbon: Portuguese Society of Allergology and Clinical Immunology with support from Thermo Fisher.
(3) Anaphylaxis Campaign, 2018. Mustard Allergy: The Facts. Available at:
(4) Government of Canada, 2017. Mustard, A priority food allergen. Available at:
(5) Pádua, I., Barros, R., Moreira, P., & Moreira, A., 2016. Food allergy in restaurants. Lisbon: National Program for the Promotion of Healthy Eating, Directorate-General for Health.
(6) Food Allergy Canada, 2020. Mustard. Available at: