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Key Allergens

Wheat is a grain in the Poaceae family of plants. Other plants in this family include barley, oats, corn and rice.

Wheat contains a whopping 28 allergens which have been identified as causing IgE allergic reactions.

Ten of these allergens are airway allergens, linked to pollen from wheat.

Many of the 18 food allergens are in the prolamin family of proteins, these are cereal storage proteins which are collectively called gluten.

Tri a 12 is a profilin protein, this is a panallergen known to cause allergic reactions across multiple foods.

Tri a 14 is a Lipid Transfer Protein (LTP), this is a panallergen which can cause allergic reactions even in cooked foods and can cause issues across multiple groups of foods.

Seitan is a vegan food made from wheat flour, which is a better source of protein than tofu (which is made from soya). If you are allergic to wheat or are intolerant to gluten you will need to avoid foods which contain seitan.

Food Intolerances

Food is high in FODMAP Food is high in lectins

Wheat is a high FODMAP food. FODMAP stands for Fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols. Foods high in FODMAPs can cause symptoms of food intolerance, affecting the gastro intestinal system and this can be mistaken for a true IgE food allergy. Wheat contains fructans which which makes it a high FODMAP food.

Wheat contain a lectin called wheat germ agglutinin. Lectins are another possible cause of food intolerance. Usually cooking foods with lectins makes them more digestible and can reduce the symptoms of food intolerance, wheat germ agglutinins however are heat stable, so their effect is not reduced by cooking.

You can read more about Food Intolerances on the dedicated Food Intolerance Page.

Associated Syndromes

An allergy to wheat has been linked to Wheat Dependent Exercise Induced Anaphylaxis (WD-EIA) and Baker's Asthma.

Allergy to wheat is sometimes linked to Celery-Mugwort-Spice Syndrome as the sensitising allergen is a profilin protein called Art v 4, these proteins are also sometimes also called Bet v 2 proteins.

There is also a link between wheat and Latex Food Syndrome. The plant involved in latex allergy Hevea brasiliensis, the rubber tree plant, has an allergen called Hev b 8 which is a profilin protein. Those very sensitised to latex may have a contact allergic reaction from other foods or plants containing profilin proteins, there is less evidence of this than sensitisation to other latex linked proteins like hevein and chitinases.

Coeliac disease is not an allergic condition, but is an autoimmune disorder triggered by gluten found in wheat to which sensitive individuals may react.

Cross Reactivity

Wheat contains lipid transfer proteins, so you may suffer cross reactivity from consuming other cereals containing LTPs, like durum wheat and maize.

Common foods involved in LTP allergy include kiwi, strawberries, sunflower seeds, walnut, apple, mulberry, banana, pea, apricot, cherry, plum, almond, peach pomegranate, raspberry, tomato, grape, celery, peanut, asparagus, cabbage, broccoli, chestnut, lemon, tangerine, orange, hazelnut, lettuce, lentils, lupin, green bean, pear and mustard

Other foods containing profilin allergens are celery, peanut, soyabeans, lychee, walnut, lupin, almonds, mustard, hazelnut, kiwi, pineapple, chilli, melon, orange, strawberry, apple, banana, aubergine (eggplant), peach, pear, tomato, dates, cherry, carrot and barley. Allergic reactions to some of these foods may be considered a marker of profilin hypersensitivity.

Wheat is in the Poales order of foods, so there may be some cross reactivity with other foods in the group such as barley, rye and maize. Read more about Grain Allergens and Pseudocereals.

These food lists are not exhaustive, the most up to date information is on the Cross Reactivity Tool.



Science Direct - Wheat Allergy

Allergen Encyclopedia - Wheat

ACAAI - Wheat Allergy

FARE - Wheat Allergy

Anaphylaxis Campaign - Exercise Induced Anaphylaxis

Healthline - FODMAP Foods

Articles and Journals

Test panel of hidden allergens for “idiopathic anaphylaxis” reveals wheat allergy dependent on augmentation factors as common final diagnosis, 2024

Timing of initial symptom onset during milk and wheat challenges: A retrospective study, 2024

A potential role of gliadin extract skin prick test in IgE-mediated wheat allergy, 2023

A Narrative Mini Review on Current Status of Hypoallergenic Wheat Development for IgE-Mediated Wheat Allergy, Wheat-Dependent Exercise-Induced Anaphylaxis, 2023

A Meta-Analysis of the Prevalence of Wheat Allergy Worldwide, 2023

Clinical cross-reactivity of wheat and barley in children with wheat allergy, 2022

Critical structural elements for the antigenicity of wheat allergen LTP1 (Tri a 14) revealed by sitedirected mutagenesis, 2022

Omega-5 and Gamma Gliadin are the Major Allergens in Adult-Onset IgE-Mediated Wheat Allergy: Results from Thai Cohort with Oral Food Challenge, 2021

Non-celiac wheat sensitivity: rationality and irrationality of a gluten-free diet in individuals affected with non-celiac disease: a review, 2021

Dietary Lectins: Gastrointestinal and Immune Effects, 2020

Characterization of children with IgE-mediated wheat allergy and risk factors that predict wheat anaphylaxis, 2020

Wheat - Dependent Exercise-Induced Anaphylaxis Occurred With a Delayed Onset of 10 to 24 hours After Wheat Ingestion: A Case Repor, 2014

Characterization of causative allergens for wheat-dependent exercise-induced anaphylaxis sensitized with hydrolyzed wheat proteins in facial soap, 2013

Multiple wheat flour allergens and cross-reactive carbohydrate determinants bind IgE in baker's asthma, 2011

Wheat and maize thioredoxins: a novel cross-reactive cereal allergen family related to baker's asthma, 2006

Humoral and cellular responses to gliadin in wheat-dependent, exercise-induced anaphylaxis, 2003

The diversity of allergens involved in bakers' asthma, 1984

Let me know if you found any of these interesting or useful. If you spot an article or research that you think is interesting you can message me or tag me on Facebook or Twitter - links at the bottom of the page.

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