It is often confusing as to which items fall within the category of seeds and which are classed as nuts. For example, a sesame seed, poppy seed and pumpkin seed are always thought of as seeds simply because they are small, however, the coconut (including the white part and husk) is actually a type of seed, even though in the USA this is categorised as a nut. The most common seed allergy of all the different types of seed is the sesame seed. This allergy doesn’t receive the same acknowledgement as something like peanut allergy but sesame seeds are very potent allergens and reactions can be just as serious as a nut or peanut allergy.
Sesame seed allergy is not a new allergy it has been around for quite some time, first being reported back in the 1950’s it was not a well-known allergy and was very rare. However, consumption of sesame seeds has increased in the UK and now not only is it one of the top 10 food allergies but more and more children are now developing what was once a rare allergy. In some countries (such as Israel) this has been a very common allergy for decades due to many middle-eastern and Asian dishes containing sesame as a common ingredient. Within the EU it is recognised as one of the 14 major allergen groups.