Lupin Allergy UK
Lupin or lupini beans are a legume commonly found in Mediterranean countries, North Africa, and Latin American countries. Lupini beans are usually eaten as a snack or ground into flour to add nutritional value to food products or recipes.
Lupini beans are available in jars with brine, or dried and salted in plastic packaging.
What is a Lupin Allergy?
ASCIA says that a reaction to lupin is caused by the body’s immune system reacting to proteins in the lupini bean. The body considers these proteins as harmful intruders, and this causes the immune system to respond by fighting off the proteins.
Studies have indicated a link between peanut and lupin allergies which is due to lupins and peanuts both being legumes and belonging to the same plant family. Juicy Lucy’s Kitchen recalls her own experience with a lupin allergy and explains that:
“for people who have an existing legume allergy, eating lupin can cause an allergic reaction on first exposure”
To learn more about nut allergies, read our article here.
Symptoms of a Lupin Food Allergy
Just like all other food allergies, a lupin allergy may occur and advance rapidly. The AAAAI lists the symptoms of a lupin allergy as:
- Swelling in the face, throat, or mouth,
- Oral itching,
- Abdominal pain,
- A runny nose,
- Watering eyes,
- Difficulty breathing,
- Anaphylaxis shock.
According to Anaphylaxis Campaign, anaphylaxis is a life-threatening allergic reaction that can occur suddenly or up to 2-3 hours later. When someone with allergies is exposed to something they are sensitive to, this can happen.
Anaphylaxis may start with similar symptoms to a milder reaction but quickly worsen. People suffering from an allergic anaphylactic response should immediately use an epinephrine auto-injector (EpiPen), and emergency services should be contacted.
Common Foods that May Contain Lupin
Lupini beans can be eaten on their own as a snack or added to other foods.
In Europe, it is common to ground lupini beans into flour. This enhances flavour and adds nutritional value to the food.
Lupins are often used to replace soy and are sometimes the key ingredient in meat, gluten, and dairy alternatives. Foods that may contain lupin are:
- Chocolate spread
- Vegetarian sausage
- Onion rings
- Ice cream
- Bread, biscuits, and other baked goods
- Gluten-free products (lupin flour may be used in gluten-free foods as a substitute to wheat – similar to soy or genetically modified plants).
By law, food manufacturers and producers must list lupin on the label of food products. It can also be identified as lupin flour, lupine, lupin bean, or lupin seed.
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