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Food-Info.net> Topics > Food allergies and intolerances > Shellfish > Molluscs

Abalone, perlemoen allergy

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Information provided in co-operation with the Informall project.

Abalone is normally eaten as a cooked dish. It may be found in soups or Chinese dishes such as dim sum. It is sometimes used in rice porridge but this is not common as it is one of the most expensive shellfish. It's scientific name is Haliotis midae.

Abalone allergy

Allergy to shellfish such as abalone which are molluscs is less well known than allergy to shrimps (crustaceans). As with most food allergies, symptoms are usually mild such as oral allergy syndrome but severe symptoms such as anaphylactic shock can also occur after consumption. Note that abalone is not currently listed in annex IIIa of the EU directive on labelling of foods and thus individuals allergic to molluscs must be alert to the possibility of abalone or other molluscs as hidden allergens.

Allergy to abalone is most commonly associated with allergy to other related shellfish such as limpet, snails, winkles and whelks (gastropods). Reactions can also be triggered by eating more distantly related molluscs such as clams, mussels, oysters, and scallops (bivalves) or cuttlefish, octopus and squid (cephalopods). Thus after a diagnosis of allergy to one mollusc, patients are normally advised to avoid all molluscs. Whilst most individuals with allergy to shrimps (crustacea) can tolerate molluscs, individuals with allergy to both types of shellfish have been reported. However, individuals allergic to finfish (such as cod or salmon) do not generally have allergies to shellfish.

The two main allergenic proteins in abalone are tropomyosin and the Hal m1 protein.

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