Pine trees are mainly cultivated in the Mediterranean region and their fruits (pine nut) are used in food preparation (including pesto, salads, toppings). Pine nuts contain many valuable ingredients. They contain a lot of vitamin B1, B2, A, niacin and vitamin E. Selenium and phosphorus are also present in larger quantities. These vitamins and trace elements have many beneficial properties and act as antioxidants in the body, protecting cells from harmful free radicals. Infections, premature aging and cancers are thus effectively prevented.
Allergy to pine nuts is not very widespread in Europe. The allergy often occurs after consumption in the mouth area and is manifested by itching, tingling or burning in the mouth, tongue and lips. Therefore, it is also called oral allergy syndrome. In severe cases, it can lead to respiratory distress due to swelling. Further symptoms are skin rashes or redness as well as nausea, diarrhea and vomiting and in rare cases anaphylactic shock can occur.
Outside the EU, mandatory labeling of allergenic foods also exists in the USA, Canada, Australia/New Zealand, Japan, Argentina and South Africa. In some cases, the allergen list differs significantly from the EU list.
In the USA, the FALCPA -Food Allergen Labelling and Consumer Protection Act has been in effect since 2004. Hereby, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has obliged food manufacturers to label the 8 most important triggers for food allergies, which are responsible for 90% of food-related allergic reactions. Unlike the European legislation, the group of tree nuts is not limiting and therefore includes coconut, pine nuts, chestnuts, beechnuts and others. All protein-containing foods derived from the above nuts are subject to mandatory labeling. Refined oils are excluded from the declaration.
SureFood® ALLERGEN Pine Nut specifically and sensitively detects DNA of Pinus spp. in food. The detection can be used on all commercially available real-time PCR cyclers. The detection of Pine Nut complements the extensive range of allergen test kits of our distribution partner R-Biopharm.