Lupin allergy: Is it really a cause for concern?


*Corresponding author
1. Senior Medical Writer, Sprim India, No. 10, 1st A Main, S.T. Bed Layout, IV Block, Koramangala, Bangalore  560034, India
2.  Pediatric Allergy Department, Pediatric Hospital Bambino Gesù, 20142, P.zza S. Onofrio 4, Rome, Italy
3. Clinical Immunology and Allergy Department, The Royal Adelaide Hospital, North Terrace Adelaide 5000, South Australia


Lupin is a legume plant commonly used in the bakery industry in several regions of the world since the last few years. Allergic reaction with lupin in the general population is not clearly known. It appears to be low and probably depends on dietary habits and geographical differences, likely as a result of exposure. Most cases have been reported from Europe. Additionally, sensitisation to lupin flour is significantly more frequent compared to clinical manifestations. Lupin allergy has been observed usually in individuals with known peanut allergy because of the similarity of its key allergen, b-conglutin to that of the latter, Ara h 1. Cases of primary lupin allergy have also been reported occasionally. Appropriate product labelling by manufacturers and awareness among physicians and general public are required for overcoming the challenges associated with Lupin allergy.


Lupin is a member of the Legume family which is the second largest family of seed plants. Peanut and soy also belong to the same family (1). The genus Lupinus comprises of approximately 200 to 600 species; however, only a few of them have been domesticated (2). The four species of lupin used in foods are Lupinus albus (white lupin, Mediterranean countries), Lupinus luteus (yellow lupin, Central Europe), Lupinus angustifolius (blue lupin, Australia) and Lupinus mutabilis (pink lupin or Andean lupin, South America)(3). However, the last one has not yet attracted much of research interest (4).  White lupin is predominantly used in the food industry, while blue and yellow lupin are used for animal feed (5).  
Lupin can be cultivated in all climates, making it an attractive crop (6). It is cultivated globally not only for livestock and poultry feed but also for fertilizing the soil(1). Australia is the largest producer of lupin in the world, followed by Europe. The predominant European countries cultivating lupin are Germany, France, Spain and Italy (7).
It has been increasingl ...