Carrot allergy: Why the vegetable itself can still trigger symptoms


Allergens in carrots are among the most stable proteins. Even heating cannot completely destroy their allergenic structure.

Bayreuth – A large number of people show allergic reactions to certain foods. While allergies to foods such as nuts, wheat, milk or chicken protein are widespread and well-known, less common allergens can also cause unpleasant symptoms. A rather unusual trigger for allergic reactions is the carrot. Some people experience allergy symptoms like rash, itching, and breathing problems when eating raw carrots.

Regardless of whether they are raw or cooked, the allergens in carrots are among the most resilient proteins found in food. Even heating the vegetables does not, or only insufficiently, destroy the protein structures that can trigger these reactions. This was established in a recent study by scientists from the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Bayreuth.

Cooking effect decreases as the temperature drops again

The researchers advise: Those who are sensitive to the allergens in carrots should ideally avoid this vegetable. Because regardless of whether the carrots are raw or cooked, pureed or mixed with other foods, they retain their allergenic potential.

As part of their study, the scientists heated the so-called isoallergens to up to 95 degrees Celsius. They found that heating the carrots did make the allergen — called Dau c 1 — less dangerous. However, when the temperature drops again, the carrot allergen reverts to its original, allergenic structure. In addition to the temperature, the acidity also has an influence on the structure of the carrot allergen – at a pH value of 3, some of the allergenic structures could be retained despite previous heating.

This article only contains general information on the respective health topic and is therefore not intended for self-diagnosis, treatment or medication. In no way does it replace a visit to the doctor. Unfortunately, our editors are not allowed to answer individual questions about clinical pictures.


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