Assessment of the tolerance to lupine-enriched pasta in peanut-allergic children


Alessandro Fiocchi, Department of Child and Maternal Medicine, The Melloni University Hospital, 52 via Melloni, Milan 20129, Italy. E-mail:


Background Reports of allergy to lupine derivatives (as de novo sensitization or cross-reactivity in subjects allergic to peanut) are increasing as their use in food products increases.

Objectives The aim of this study was to assess: (1) lupine tolerance in a group of children allergic to peanut, using lupine enriched-pasta instead of raw flour as has been done in previous clinical studies; (2) whether technological treatments of lupine modify its cross-reactivity or co-sensitization with peanut; (3) the role of lupine seed proteins in sensitization, and (4) to identify the eliciting doses (EDs) by using double-blind, placebo-controlled food challenges (DBPCFC).

Methods Twelve patients with a history of clinical allergic reactions to peanut were evaluated by skin prick tests (SPTs), the ImmunoCAP® test, immunoblotting, and DBPCFC. The 12 selected subjects were included in a trial where lupine-enriched pasta and placebo pasta were administered in a DBPCFC protocol.

Results Positive clinical reactions were observed in two children, the EDs being 0.2 and 6.4 g of pasta, corresponding to 50 mg and 1.6 g of lupine proteins, respectively. β-conglutin was the protein most involved in SPT positivity.

Conclusion Lupine-enriched pasta can be tolerated by most subjects suffering from peanut allergy, but a sizeable minority (2/12 of them in this case) can develop potentially dangerous clinical reactions. Information about possible reactions to lupine derivatives by those allergic to peanuts must be included in the labelling of lupine-enriched products to protect consumers at risk.