Food Science and Technology Department


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of Food Science 76:8 (2011), pp. T189–T191; doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2011.02372.x


Copyright © 2011 Institute of Food Technologists. Published by John WIley & Sons. Used by permission.


Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum) is a commonly allergenic food especially in Asia where buckwheat is more commonly consumed. Wild buckwheat (Polygonum convolvulus, recently changed to Fallopia convolvulus) is an annual weed prevalent in grain-growing areas of the United States. Wild buckwheat is not closely related to edible buckwheat although the seeds do have some physical resemblance. A large shipment of wheat into Japan was halted by the discovery of the adventitious presence of wild buckwheat seeds over possible concerns for buckwheat-allergic consumers. However, IgE-binding was not observed to an extract of wild buckwheat using sera from 3 buckwheat-allergic individuals either by radio-allergosorbent test inhibition or by immunoblotting after protein separation by sodium dodecyl sulfate–polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Furthermore, the extract of wild buckwheat was not detected in a buckwheat enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay developed with antisera against common buckwheat. Thus, wild buckwheat is highly unlikely to pose any risk to buckwheat-allergic individuals. The common names of plants should not be a factor in the risk assessment for possible cross-allergenicity.