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Current Protein & Peptide Science


ISSN (Print): 1389-2037
ISSN (Online): 1875-5550

Review Article

Insect Allergens on the Dining Table

Author(s): Kyoung Yong Jeong* and Jung-Won Park*

Volume 21, Issue 2, 2020

Page: [159 - 169] Pages: 11

DOI: 10.2174/1389203720666190715091951

Price: $65


Edible insects are important sources of nutrition, particularly in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Recently, edible insects have gained considerable interest as a possible solution to global exhaustion of the food supply with population growth. However, little attention has been given to the adverse reactions caused by insect consumption. Here, we provide an overview of the food allergens in edible insects and offer insights for further studies. Most of the edible insect allergens identified to date are highly cross-reactive invertebrate pan-allergens such as tropomyosin and arginine kinase. Allergic reactions to these allergens may be cross-reactions resulting from sensitization to shellfish and/or house dust mites. No unique insect allergen specifically eliciting a food allergy has been described. Many of the edible insect allergens described thus far have counterpart allergens in cockroaches, which are an important cause of respiratory allergies, but it is questionable whether inhalant allergens can cause food allergies. Greater effort is needed to characterize the allergens that are unique to edible insects so that safe edible insects can be developed. The changes in insect proteins upon food processing or cooking should also be examined to enhance our understanding of edible insect food allergies.

Keywords: Food allergen, cross-reactivity, edible insects, component-resolved diagnosis, chitin, CCDs, CDR.

Graphical Abstract
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