Lupine (genus Lupinus, family Leguminosae) is a legume that includes about 450 species. It is an aperitif much appreciated by the Portuguese, often called “seafood for the poor”.
Its consumption is common in several European countries, especially in Mediterranean countries. Since the late 1990s, its use in the food industry has become widespread, due to its nutritional value, high protein quality, emulsifying properties and low cost. (1)
Did you know that lupine flour is used by the industry in gluten-free products and in place of soy, milk and egg?
The prevalence of lupine allergy in the general population is still unknown, but it appears to be restricted to certain geographic areas, possibly reflecting different dietary habits and, therefore, the risk of exposure. (1)
Until recently, the European legislation was the only one that referred to lupine as an allergen of mandatory declaration on the labeling, however, due to the general increase in its consumption, namely in industrialized products, since 2018, it has also been declared as an allergen in Australia and New Zealand. (2, 3)
Allergy to lupine can be manifested both in individuals with primary sensitization, that is, without other food allergies, and in those allergic to peanuts, with which there is a strong possibility of cross-reaction. Cross-reactions, that is, identical allergic responses, can also occur with other legumes such as soy, lentils, beans, chickpeas and peas, due to the similarity of their proteins. (1, 4)
Sensitization to lupine allergenic proteins can occur by ingesting lupine or foods containing lupine flour or derivatives or by inhaling the flour or cooking vapors, and clinical reactions can range from mild symptoms to anaphylaxis, with reports of cases of worsening atopic dermatitis. (1, 5)
As with any food allergy, the treatment of choice for a lupine allergy is to eliminate consumption of lupine and foods that contain lupine or derivatives. See in the table below which foods contain or may contain lupine. Also learn how to identify lupine on labeling.
Foods that have or may contain lupine: (1, 6)
How to identify lupine on labeling: (6)
Lupine, lupine flour, lupine protein.
Fidu products do not contain lupine or derived products. We do not handle any ingredient in our facilities that may be contaminated with lupine. In this way, we guarantee that there is no cross-contamination by traces and that our products are safe even for the most sensitive.
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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) Muraro, A., Hoffmann-Sommergruber, K., Holzhauser, T., Poulsen, LK, Gowland, MH, Akdis, CA, … Vieths, S. (2014). EAACI Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Guidelines. Protecting consumers with food allergies: Understanding food consumption, meeting regulations and identifying unmet needs. Allergy: European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 69, 1464–1472.
(3) FSANZ (2018). Are you a food business? Mandatory labeling for lupine starts soon. Available at: https://www.foodstandards.gov.au/
(4) Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE). (2017). Your Food Allergy Field Guide.
(5) SPAIC Food Allergy Interest Group, 2019. Food Allergy: Concepts and Advice and Precautions, 2nd Edition. Lisbon: Portuguese Society of Allergology and Clinical Immunology with support from Thermo Fisher Scientific and BIAL Laboratories.
(6) Pádua, I., Barros, R., Moreira, P., & Moreira, A. (2016). Food allergy in catering. Lisbon: National Program for the Promotion of Healthy Eating, Directorate-General for Health.