Sesame Seed Allergy
Sesame seed allergy is not new – it was first reported in the 1950’s – but it has become increasingly common and now is
one of the top 10 causes of food allergies. In Israel, sesame seed is the second most common food allergy, behind cow’s
milk. The rise in sesame seed allergy can be at least partially attributed to its increased consumption because it is used
dressing, and gluten free products. At this time, it is unknown exactly how long it may take for someone to outgrow sesame
While most peanut oils have been found to be safe in peanut allergic individuals, the same cannot be said about sesame
seed oil for sesame seed allergic sufferers. Sesame oil usually is “unrefined” and thus contains sesame seed proteins
that can cause allergic reactions. Studies have demonstrated that as little as 3 ml of sesame seed oil can result in allergic
reactions. Significant cross-reactivity between sesame seeds, poppy seeds, and flax seeds has been found. Some people
with sesame seed allergy are also found to have allergies to peanuts and tree nuts.
Even though sesame seeds are very small, they are very potent and often cause very serious allergic reactions. Avoidance is
Avoid foods that contain:
- Gomasio (sesame salt)
- Falafel vegetable burgers
- Seed paste
- Sesame seed
- Sesame seed oil
- Sesamum indicum
- Sim sim
- Tahini (Tehina)
- Turkish cake
Sesame seed is also known as Anjonjoli, Benne, Gingelly, Simsin, Til, or Teel.
Foods that may contain sesame seeds:
- Asian food
- Baked goods such as bagels, bread, buns, rolls, pastries)
- Confection bars
- Gluten free foods
- Middle Eastern food
- Processed meats
- Snack foods such as trail mix, granola bars, protein bars, pita chips
- Verge burgers
- Vegetable oil
Cosmetics that may contain sesame oil include body oils, lipsticks, moisturizing creams, soaps. Sesame seed is
sometimes also used in medications, to include the use of sesame oil in some intramuscular injections and ointments.
Sesame seeds can also be found in some pet food and livestock feed.
Make sure to check out the coping with food allergies page for school and traveling tips, and useful links including sites that
sell allergy safe foods, medic alert bracelets. There's even a link to a website that will translate food allergy words in just
about any language you can imagine!