Today we received an email from Jamie who wrote that her little one seems to have a reaction/allergy to eggplant. Jamie wondered why we didn’t have a note that eggplant might be a possible allergen. She went on to tell us that her Dad (a farmer) noted that eggplant is a member of the nightshade family and thus, an allergen.
Where there are known risks for allergies and/or reactions (such as to citrus and the acidity) we add the information to our pages. Eggplant is not a known high allergen and never do we hear to avoid it. When doing some poking about various medical journals, we found that an eggplant allergy is very rare. It appears that the first study to ascertain allergy/sensitivity to eggplant was not undertaken until 2004. This study seems to have focused on persons of Indian descent as the eggplant/brinjal may be a staple in their diets.
As a member of the nightshade family (which includes Peppers, Potato, Tobacco, Tomato) eggplant may be more “allergenic” when consumed raw. A skin reaction may occur when various parts of the body come into contact with the skin/peel of the eggplant. Think of how raw tomatoes may give little ones a rash around the mouth.
Again, this type of reaction to eggplant is considered rare. It is also a reaction that may “strike” at any age. Do a search on Google about eggplant allergies and you will find many who speak to being older when they first reacted to eggplant.
Do you have an allergy to eggplant? Do you think your little one might? Please let us know in our comments section!
Below we have copied some information about eggplant allergies from 2 studies:
JACI Highlights – January 2004 – Allergy to eggplant
Eggplant (aubergine; Solanum melongena), an important vegetable of the nightshade family, is widely consumed throughout the world as a vegetable in various food preparations like curry, salad, gratin, soup, pizza, and parmigiana. Sometimes called the poor man¹s meat, the egg-shaped fruit can be cooked or fried, and is often an ingredient in meat dishes.
Adverse reactions to eggplant ingestion appear to be commonly experienced by a considerable number among the Indian population, with an incidence of 11%. This appears to be due to the high content of histamine in eggplant.
³Pramod and Venkatesh² (Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, January 2004) have described 3 cases (incidence: 0.5%) who had experienced allergic symptoms – hives and/or oral allergy reactions – within an hour or two after ingestion of foods containing eggplant. Allergy to eggplant was confirmed by positive skin prick test and the presence of allergen-specific IgE in the serum of allergic individuals. The authors have detected, by immunochemical analysis, the presence of 3 proteins (60, 64, and 71 kilodaltons in size) which have been identified as the allergens in eggplant. The 71 kilodalton protein allergen appears to be heat-stable.
This is the first descriptive report of allergy to the ingestion of eggplant in the medical literature.
World Allergy Organization Journal: September 2009 – Volume 2 – Issue 9 – pp 192-200
Clinico-Immunological Analysis of Eggplant (Solanum melongena) Allergy Indicates Preponderance of Allergens in the Peel – Conclusions: Eggplant is a multiallergenic vegetable in the context of presence of allergens in all edible parts of eggplant having preponderance in the peel.
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