Thermostable allergens in canned fish: Evaluating risks for fish allergy

Taki, Aya C., Ruethers, Thimo, Nugraha, Roni, Karnaneedi, Shaymaviswanathan, Williamson, Nicholas, Nie, Shuai, Leeming, Michael G., Mehr, Sam S., Campbell, Dianne E., and Lopata, Andreas L. (2023) Thermostable allergens in canned fish: Evaluating risks for fish allergy. Allergy: European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. (In Press)

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Background: Major fish allergens, including parvalbumin (PV), are heat stable and can withstand extensive cooking processes. Thus, the management of fish allergy generally relies on complete avoidance. Fish-allergic patients may be advised to consume canned fish, as some fish-allergic individuals have reported tolerance to canned fish. However, the safety of consuming canned fish has not been evaluated with comprehensive immunological and molecular analysis of canned fish products.

Methods: We characterized the in vitro immunoreactivity of serum obtained from fish-allergic subjects to canned fish. Seventeen canned fish products (salmon n = 8; tuna n = 7; sardine n = 2) were assessed for the content and integrity of PV using allergen-specific antibodies. Subsequently, the sIgE binding of five selected products was evaluated for individual fish-allergic patients (n = 53). Finally, sIgE-binding proteins were identified by mass spectrometry.

Results: The canned fish showed a markedly reduced PV content and binding to PV-specific antibodies compared with conventionally cooked fish. However, PV and other heat-stable fish allergens, including tropomyosin and collagen, still maintained their sIgE-binding capacity. Of 53 patients, 66% showed sIgE binding to canned fish proteins. The canned sardine contained proteins bound to sIgE from 51% of patients, followed by canned salmon (43%–45%) and tuna (8%–17%). PV was the major allergen in canned salmon and sardine. Tropomyosin and/or collagen also showed sIgE binding.

Conclusion: We showed that canned fish products may not be safe for all fish-allergic patients. Canned fish products should only be considered into the diet of individuals with fish allergy, after detailed evaluation which may include in vitro diagnostics to various heat-stable fish allergens and food challenge conducted in suitable environments.

Item ID: 80356
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1398-9995
Keywords: canned fish, fish allergy, food allergy management, parvalbumin, thermostable allergen, tropomyosin
Copyright Information: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made. © 2023 The Authors. Allergy published by European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Funders: National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC)
Projects and Grants: NHMRC GNT1086656
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2023 22:49
FoR Codes: 32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3204 Immunology > 320401 Allergy @ 70%
32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3206 Medical biotechnology > 320602 Medical biotechnology diagnostics (incl. biosensors) @ 30%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2004 Public health (excl. specific population health) > 200405 Food safety @ 30%
20 HEALTH > 2001 Clinical health > 200101 Diagnosis of human diseases and conditions @ 40%
20 HEALTH > 2001 Clinical health > 200104 Prevention of human diseases and conditions @ 30%
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