Substance Info: (and synonyms)
Maize / Corn

Background Info:

See also Maize/Corn Pollen.

Common Names: Maize, Corn, Sweet Corn, Indian Corn, Field Corn

Cultivars may be divided into six general types: Popcorn (everta), Flint Corn (indurata), Dent Corn (indenta), Flour Corn (amylacea), Sweet Corn (saccharata) and Pod Corn (tunicata).

There are, however, only two more basic types: 'Sweet Corn' is distinguished from 'Field Corn' by the high sugar content of the kernels at the early 'dough' stage and by wrinkled, translucent kernels when dry.

The original habitat was probably South America or Mexico where is was the staple diet of the American Indian. Maize is now grown almost anywhere summers are reasonably warm although approximately 50% of the world's maize is produced in the USA. It is one of the most commonly grown foods. It is a staple cereal of the human diet in Central and South America and in many parts of Africa. It is extremely important in livestock rearing, food processing and other commercial activities in developed countries.

The plant is a single-stemmed annual, sometimes over 3m long. It terminates in the tassle or staminate flowers and bears female flowers and grains on 'ears' arising at the leaf axils. The smooth leaves, usually green and usually drooping can be over a metre long. In the Northern Hemisphere, it is in flower between July and October, and the seeds ripen between September and October.

Maize is cultivated and not known in the wild.

Few plants are grown more extensively or put to more diversified uses than Maize. It is a staple cereal for humans in Central and South America, and in many parts of Africa. In the US and Europe it is used almost entirely for animal feeding, as grain or fodder. But it is important as a vegetable, and as the snack Popcorn. Kernels may be eaten straight from the cooked cob or cut off and used in succotash, custards, fritters, soups and chowders. Kernels are also used in mixed pickles and vegetable relishes. Corn meal, grits, and hominy are prepared forms of Maize kernels. Maize is also converted into various substances that have a wide range of usage, such as starch, syrup, dextrin, oil, and zein. Maize serves in the making of whiskey and other alcoholic products, and condensed milk. The roasted seed is a coffee substitute. Riboflavin and nicotinamide are added to fortified maize, and in some countries, e.g., South Africa, other substances as well.

The various parts of the plant have been used in the treatment of a variety of ailments, including diabetes, gonorrhoea, gout, nose bleeds, ulcers, menstrual pathologies, rheumatism, cancer, tumours, warts, corns, wounds, Bright's disease, dropsy, dysentery, gingivitis, hepatitis, hypertension, inflammation, influenza, metritis, oliguria, pneumonia, prostatitis, renitis, and urogenital ailments.


Adverse Reactions:


[ 1 / 31 ]

A 71-year-old man with anaphylaxis after eating grits. Oral mite anaphylaxis (OMA) associated with the ingestion of mite infested grits and high serum levels of total and specific IgE to dust and storage mites. Along with the grits he had eaten home-cooked frozen shrimp. Skin tests using protein extracts of the ingested foods were immediately positive to the grits, but negative to the shrimp. (Posthumus 2012 ref.27512 7)

Posthumus J, Borish L. A 71-year-old man with anaphylaxis after eating grits. Allergy Asthma Proc 2012 Jan;33(1):110-113

[ 2 / 31 ]

Food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES) to corn: a case report. A 7 months old girl ate 4 teaspoons of vegetable, corn, and tapioca, and 2.5 hours later developed repeated episodes of diarrhea and vomiting with pallor, hypotonia, and lethargy. Acute viral gastrointestinal infection was diagnosed. Ten days later, she consumed breast milk followed by 80 g of pear homogenate (with corn starch), and developed profuse vomiting, diarrhea, pallor, and lethargy after 2 hours. Anaphylaxis due to cow’s milk (CM) protein was suspected. The infant was exclusively breastfed for 10 days, after which she ate 60 g of pear homogenate (still with corn starch). Four hours later, she experienced profuse vomiting, without pallor or lethargy. FPIES to corn, the only food present in all 3 critical episodes, was suspected. Prick to prick tests with corn and other grains not yet eaten by the infant were negative. An OFC to test tolerance to corn was performed 1 year after the last episode, when the infant was 18-months-old, with negative results. At follow-up 2 months later, the child had eaten corn several times and experienced no further episodes of FPIES. (Sopo 2012 ref.28399 3)

Sopo SM, Filoni S, Giorgio V, Monaco S, Onesimo R. Food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES) to corn: a case report. J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol 2012;22(5):391-392

[ 3 / 31 ]

An infant known to have food allergy to maize, was subsequently seen for the sudden onset of fatigue with intense palpebral edema, facial angio-edema and a sensation of malaise. These symptoms were attributed to aeroallergen contact with cornmeal. (Pétrus 2012 ref.27572 7)

Pétrus M, G. Dutau, F. Tranchard, H. Bouchet, J. Tastet, A. Torregrossa Odème oculaire avec conjonctivite intense et érythème diffus après contact avec la farine de maïs / Eye swelling with diffuse erythema and intense conjunctivitis after contact with cornmeal Revue Française d'Allergologie 2012;52(1):42-44

[ 4 / 31 ]

This study was initiated to scrutinize the relationship of wheat and milk allergies to chronic polypoid sinusitis (CPS) and recurrent disease. Blood samples of 50 patients with clinically and radiologically diagnosed CPS and nasal polyposis were screened for common food allergies including wheat and milk allergy. Fifteen of 100 tested subjects (15%) revealed a previously undiagnosed allergy to inhalant (dust, rye, and pollens) and other food allergens (corn and egg white). Six of 50 patients (12%) with CPS exhibited a wheat allergy, and a milk allergy could be identified in 7 patients (14%). In the control group, seven healthy subjects (14%) showed a wheat allergy and no case of milk allergy could be identified. The authors conclude that cow's milk but not wheat allergy might be a relevant pathogenetic entity in chronic nasal polyps.

Lill C, Loader B, Seemann R, Zumtobel M, Brunner M, Heiduschka G, Thurnher D. Milk allergy is frequent in patients with chronic sinusitis and nasal polyposis. Am J Rhinol Allergy 2011 Nov;25(6):221-224

[ 5 / 31 ]

Four cases of maize anaphylaxis, one of them is exercise-induced. (Nicolie 2009 ref.24354 5)

Nicolie B, Bernier B, Drouet M. Allergie au maïs. Revue Française d'Allergologie 2009;49(7):547-553

[ 6 / 31 ]

The authors describe food allergy to corn flour in two children who live in an environment rich in corn. One child presented with a history of chronic urticaria and the other with a history of rhinoconjunctivitis and palpebral edema. The diagnosis was confirmed by skin prick and labial tests with native corn flour, specific IgE serum assays, and an oral corn flour provocation test in one of the cases. (Pétrus 2009 ref.24353 7)

Pétrus M, Trigatti A, Bouchet H, Colin P, Dutau G. Allergie à la farine de maïs : deux nouvelles observations pédiatriques Revue Française d'Allergologie 2009;49(7):545-546

[ 7 / 31 ]

An 8-year-old child presented with a severe anaphylactic reaction after consuming corn flour: generalized urticaria, bronchospasm and generalized malaise. Allergy to corn is rare, being described mainly in countries where it is consumed most, such as Italy and Mexico. The symptoms are not specific: rhinitis, contact urticaria and anaphylaxis. Diagnosis was based on the clinical history, a positive skin or labial challenge test, the presence of corn-specific serum IgE, and confirmation by an oral provocation test. The responsible allergen was a 50 kDa lipid transfer protein. Another allergenic protein, thioredoxin, has been isolated. Cornstarch (maïzena), which contains no protein, is an alternative which can be used to avoid corn flour. (Pétrus 2009 ref.23840 0)

Pétrus M, Jésu J, Cossarizza G, Torregrosa A, Gardes H, Ingarao J-P, Dutau G. Allergie à la farine de maïs. À propos d’une nouvelle observation chez un enfant de huit ans Revue Française d'Allergologie 2009;49(4):379-38

[ 8 / 31 ]

Of 27 patients with a history of maize allergy, 48% were challenge positive. PD range was 0.1-25 g. Fifty-four percent of the maize allergic subjects had a PD that was

Scibilia J, Pastorello EA, Zisa G, Ottolenghi A, Ballmer-Weber B, Pravettoni V, Scovena E, Robino A, Ortolani C. Maize food allergy: a double-blind placebo-controlled study. Clin Exp Allergy 2008 Dec;38(12):1943-9.

[ 9 / 31 ]

A 33-year-old nurse presented with persistent hand dermatitis. RAST showed moderate to strong reactions to latex, avocado and banana. Despite avoidance of latex gloves, she failed to improve. Patch testing was negative. Prick testing showed a negative reaction to latex, but a strong reaction to corn, with relevance to cornstarch powder present in many medical examination gloves. She was diagnosed with corn contact urticaria, irritant contact dermatitis and type I hypersensitivity to latex fruits. (Liu 2007 ref.20279 7)

Liu W, Nixon RL. Corn contact urticaria in a nurse. Australas J Dermatol 2007 May;48(2):130-131

[ 10 / 31 ]

Wheat and maize have been mentioned as the most frequent causers of allergies produced by cereals, in countries other than Mexico. (Borgstrom 1976 ref.23965 7) (Tuft 1971 ref.23964 0) (In: Valencia 2006 ref.23879 7)

Valencia Zavala MP, Vega Robledo GB, Sánchez Olivas MA, Duarte Diaz RJ, Oviedo CL. Maize (Zea mays): allergen or toleragen? Participation of the cereal in allergic disease and positivity incidence in cutaneous tests. Rev Alerg Mex 2006 Nov-Dec;53(6):207-11.

[ 11 / 31 ]

Since 1933, several authors cited the corn flour as a cause of asthma and acute rhinopathy in millers, promoters, and with lesser frequency in homemakers. (Urbach 1943 ref.23962 5) (Phillip 199 ref.23963 5) (In: Valencia 2006 ref.23879 7)

Valencia Zavala MP, Vega Robledo GB, Sánchez Olivas MA, Duarte Diaz RJ, Oviedo CL. Maize (Zea mays): allergen or toleragen? Participation of the cereal in allergic disease and positivity incidence in cutaneous tests. Rev Alerg Mex 2006 Nov-Dec;53(6):207-11.

[ 12 / 31 ]

Eosinophilic esophagitis is a disorder identified in patients with symptoms suggestive of gastroesophageal reflux disease but unresponsive to conventional reflux therapies. A total of 146 patients diagnosed as having eosinophilic esophagitis were evaluated with skin prick and atopy patch testing. Thirty-nine patients had unequivocal demonstration of food causing eosinophilic esophagitis, with normalization of biopsy results on elimination and reoccurrence on reintroduction. An additional 73 patients, for a total 112 (77%) of 146 patients, had resolution of their eosinophilic esophagitis as demonstrated by biopsy results. Fifteen (10%) of 146 patients were nonresponders manifested by no significant reduction in esophageal eosinophils despite restricted diet based on skin prick and atopy patch testing. Egg, milk, and soy were identified most frequently with skin prick testing, whereas corn, soy, and wheat were identified most frequently with atopy patch testing. The study concludes that in more than 75% of patients with eosinophilic esophagitis, both symptoms and esophageal inflammation can be significantly improved with dietary elimination of foods. Skin prick and atopy patch testing can help identify foods in most patients. (Spergel 2005 ref.13159 2)

Spergel JM, Andrews T, Brown-Whitehorn TF, Beausoleil JL, Liacouras CA. Treatment of eosinophilic esophagitis with specific food elimination diet directed by a combination of skin prick and patch tests. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2005 Oct;95(4):336-43.

[ 13 / 31 ]

Cereal-induced anaphylaxis in an adult after eating a baby cereal formula. A 34-year-old man, a carpenter, with previously diagnosed occupational asthma due to rye flour added to wood boards, developed severe anaphylaxis after testing a spoonful of baby cereal food - a non-gluten rice and corn formula). He developed respiratory and gastrointestinal symptoms, paleness and decreased level of consciousness. Skin prick test was positive for wheat, barley, rye flour, peanut and mustard. Serum specific IgE were found for all of these. A DBPCFC was positive for 0.1g of the cereal. A 37 kDa protein band was demonstrated in the baby food, flours and mustard. In addition, a defined 23 kDa band was found in the corn flour. (Asensio 2004 ref.9960 8)

Asensio T, Armentia A, Lombardero M, Callejo A, Martin G, Castrodeza J. Cereal-induced anaphylaxis in an adult after eating a baby cereal formula. Allergol Immunopathol (Madr) 2004;32(5):310-1

[ 14 / 31 ]

The dust of the stored maize corn has been reported as cause of respiratory symptoms. During the storage process, maize corn dust can be contaminated by moulds and thermophilic actinomycetes, which have not been described until now as the causing antigens of these symptoms. This study describes a case of occupational hypersensitivity pneumonitis in an agricultural worker who cultured and stored maize corn. Clinical findings, precipitating antibodies, and evolution after having removed him from his work, confirmed the diagnosis. Aspergillus species contaminating the maize corn dust were probably the antigens that caused the disease. (Moreno-Ancillol 2004 ref.16702 7)

Moreno-Ancillol A, Dominguez-Noche C, Gil-Adrados AC, Cosmes PM. Hypersensitivity pneumonitis due to occupational inhalation of fungi-contaminated corn dust. J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol 2004;14(2):165-167

[ 15 / 31 ]

A study reports on 7 cases of food-dependant exercise induced-anaphylaxis. The responsible foods were wheat (2 cases), corn, barley, shrimp, apple, paprika and mustard. (Mathelier-Fusade 2002 ref. 7125 2)

Mathelier-Fusade P, Vermeulen C, Leynadier F. Responsibility of food in exercise-induced anaphylaxis: 7 cases. [French] Ann Dermatol Venereol 2002;129(5 Pt 1):694-7

[ 16 / 31 ]

Although there is a high degree of cross-reactivity between LTP containing foods, there are a number of factors that may reduce the degree of clinical effect:
1) LTP may vary greatly from one cultivar to another, e.g., Mal d 1.
2) LTP may be totally or partially heat-labile: patients with positive SPT for a LTP food may tolerate the food after cooking - legumes are a typical example. In this study, most patients were SPT positive to pea, bean, and/or soybean extracts, however only two patients experienced symptoms after eating legumes. Similarly, maize was frequently SPT positive, but only four patients reported maize allergy, and all of them experienced their reactions after ingesting canned corn or salted maize snacks, whereas all tolerated "polenta" (a long-boiled cornbread dish) without any problem. This suggests that LTP is certainly pepsin-resistant and only partially heat-stable, but are not in keeping with previous findings of other authors.
3) Distribution of the allergen within the offending food may play a role. LTP is found in the superficial layer (peel) than in the pulp of vegetables. Hygienic procedures, such as scratching of carrots, may cause the loss of most of the allergenic activity. In this study, one patient experienced contact urticaria while preparing (scratching) raw carrots, but tolerated their ingestion. (Asero 2002 ref.6858 5)

Asero R, Mistrello G, Roncarolo D, Amato S, Caldironi G, Barocci F, Van Ree R. Immunological cross-reactivity between lipid transfer proteins from botanically unrelated plant-derived foods: a clinical study. Allergy 2002;57(10):900-6

[ 17 / 31 ]

Sixteen subjects with SPT and CAP-FEIA positivities to corn flour were examined. Only six of them complained of suffering from urticaria and/or other symptoms after ingestion of corn-based foods. Only 6 patients challenged with cooked corn flour (polenta) developed symptoms following oral challenge. SPT and CAP-FEIA positivities to corn flour had no clinical significance for most of the patients and food allergy to corn has to be proved by DBPCFC. A 50 kDa protein was isolated and was shown to be stable to cooking and digestion. (Pasini 2002 ref.5660 8)

Pasini G, Simonato B, Curioni A, Vincenzi S, Cristaudo A, Santucci B, et al. IgE-mediated allergy to corn: a 50 kDa protein, belonging to the Reduced Soluble Proteins, is a major allergen. Allergy 2002;57(2):98-106

[ 18 / 31 ]

Double-blind, placebo-controlled corn challenge resulting in anaphylaxis. A 44-year-old woman's first reaction to corn consisted of oral tingling sensation after licking corn meal from her fingers. Since then she experienced 4 reactions to corn requiring emergency dept. visits. Reactions were pruritis, urticaria, vomiting and diarrhoea, and at her last visit, difficulty breathing. SPT to cooked corn was 10 mm, 35 mm to uncooked corn, 39 mm to corn pollen. (Tanaka 2001 ref.4185 2)

Tanaka LG, El-Dahr JM, Lehrer SB. Double-blind, placebo-controlled corn challenge resulting in anaphylaxis. [Letter] J Allergy Clin Immunol 2001;107(4):744

[ 19 / 31 ]

In a double-blind, placebo controlled challenge to corn, 5 patients had positive challenges, 2 during the blinded portion of the study and 3 with the open challenge. The different types of reactions included anaphylaxis, urticaria, conjunctivitis and rhinorrhea, perioral urticaria and edema, and wheezing with a decrease in peak flow (the anaphylaxis and urticaria occurred during the blinded portion of the study. While the other reactions resulted from the open challenge). This study indicates that although corn allergy may be a rare event, when it occurs it can be a severe reaction. (Tanaka 2001 ref.29441 5)

Tanaka LG, Olmos CE, McCants ML, et al. Corn allergy: the first double-blind placebo-controlled food challenge (DBPCFC). J Allergy Clin Immunol 2001;107(2):S189.

[ 20 / 31 ]

This study investigated the cross-reactivity to non-Rosaceae LTPs. IgE antibodies to Rosaceae LTPs reacted to a broad range of vegetable foods were evaluated in 498 subjects (age > 12 years) with Rosaccae allergy as judged by skin prick test with fresh fruits and (in most cases) clinical history. The majority had OAS (>97%), and only a minority (approximately 10%) showed urticaria/angioedema, gastrointestinal symptoms, food-induced rhinitis, asthma, or anaphylaxis. Sera from 37 patients were available for follow-up studies. Peach was identified most frequently as an offending Rosaceae food (in 30/37 patients), followed by apple (16/37), apricot (11/37), cherry (9/37), plum (8/37), almond (7/37) and pear (6/37). Four patients did not have any clinical symptoms related to Rosaccae fruits, despite a positive SPT with commercial plum extract and peach peel extract. All 37 patients were interviewed for allergies to other foods. Walnut and hazelnut were most frequently reported as offending foods (19/37 and 15/37, respectively), closely followed by peanut (9/37). For the other 33 different foods, the number of patients reporting symptoms ranged from 1 to 5. These foods were found among all major groups of vegetable foods, including cereals (corn, wheat), legumes (soybean, string bean, white bean, chick pea, lentils, lupine), Solanaceae (potato, tomato, eggplant) Brassicaceae (cabbage, mustard), Umbelliferae (celery, fennel), Rutaceae (lemon, orange), and several other plant families. This article contains a table of the 37 patients and the effecting foods and symptoms of each patient.
(Asero 2000 ref.3711 7)

Asero R, Mistrello G, Roncarolo D, de Vries SC, Gautier MF, Ciurana CL, Verbeek E, Mohammadi T, Knul-Brettlova V, Akkerdaas JH, Bulder I, Aalberse RC, van Ree R. Lipid transfer protein: a pan-allergen in plant-derived foods that is highly resistant to pepsin digestion. Int Arch Allergy Immunol 2000;122(1):20-32

[ 21 / 31 ]

This paper presents the identification of high-molecular-weight material in the extensively hydrolyzed casein formula, Nutramigen. The proteins were identified as maize zeins, which are water-insoluble proteins of apparent M(r) 20,000 and 23,000, presumably originating from the maize starch in Nutramigen. Rabbits immunized with this formula developed antibodies against zeins but not against milk proteins. The maize zeins are probably identical to the recently reported components in Nutramigen, detected by binding of IgE from milk allergic patients, but not correlated to clinical allergic reactivity. The clinical relevance of maize proteins in Nutramigen remains to be established. (Frisner 2000 ref.13558 0)

Frisner H, Rosendal A, Barkholt V. Identification of immunogenic maize proteins in a casein hydrolysate formula. Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2000;11(2):106-110.

[ 22 / 31 ]

A 21-year-old atopic woman who developed urticaria, angioedema of the face, and wheezy dyspnea shortly after drinking beer and after eating a corn-made snack. Skin prick tests and specific IgE measurements with beer, barley, malt, wheat, corn, rye, rice, and oat flour were positive. Immunoblotting demonstrated several IgE-binding bands at 31-56 kDa in malt and barley extracts, and a major band at 38 kDa in the beer extract. This patient developed type I hypersensitivity to barley/malt and corn. Although she also showed IgE reactivity to wheat and other cereals, no symptoms were elicited upon ingestion of these cereals, probably indicating latent sensitization to them. (Figueredo 1999 ref.5516 5)

Figueredo E, Quirce S, del Amo A, Cuesta J, Arrieta I, Lahoz C, Sastre J. Beer-induced anaphylaxis: identification of allergens. Allergy 1999 Jun;54(6):630-4.

[ 23 / 31 ]

Food-dependent exercise-induced anaphylaxis (FDEIA) in a 15-year-old girl with asthma and allergic rhinitis who experienced anaphylaxis while exercising following a lunch which included taco chips. Onset was severe sneezing followed scalp and facial pruritis, facial swelling and diffuse urticaria, followed by a sensation of throat thickening and dyspnoea. (Pauls 1998 ref.2381 1)

Pauls JD, Cross D. Food-dependent exercise-induced anaphylaxis to corn. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1998;101(6 Pt 1):853-4

[ 24 / 31 ]

Allergic reactions due to corn-starch powder used as glove-lubricant-powder. Symptoms included urticaria, intermittent dyspnea, oculorhinitis, angioedema, and asthma (Crippa 1997 ref.2383 4)

Crippa M, Pasolini G. Allergic reactions due to glove-lubricant-powder in health-care workers. Int Arch Occup Environ Health 1997;70(6):399-402

[ 25 / 31 ]

Patients allergic to maize may also be allergic to maize pollen, as Zm13 and homologous proteins are conserved plant allergens. (Heiss 1996 ref.2428 7)

Heiss S, Flicker S, Hamilton DA, Kraft D, Mascarenhas JP, Valenta R Expression of Zm13, a pollen specific maize protein, in Escherichia coli reveals IgE-binding capacity and allergenic potential. FEBS Lett 1996;381(3):217-21

[ 26 / 31 ]

Hypersensitivity to cereals may occur via inhalation or ingestion. Little information is available of the allergens causing symptoms in patients with atopic dermatitis. This Finnish study analysed the IgE immune-response to various cereals and specific cereal fractions of wheat and oats in children with severe AD and correlated the results with challenge studies. Skin- prick tests with wheat, oats, rice, corn, millet and buckwheat and an ethanol soluble gliadin fraction of wheat were performed to 34 wheat/oats challenge positive or negative children with AD. From the 34 AD children 33 were SPT positive with wheat and 18 with oats. Positive RAST to wheat and oats could be detected in 32 and 30 samples respectively. SPT with rice, corn, millet or buckwheat was positive in 16/34 patients. From the oral wheat challenge positive children 12/14 appeared positive with gliadin SPT and revealed positive RAST to gluten, but each of the wheat challenge negative were negative in SPT with gliadin. Immunoblotting using neutral and acidic fractions of cereals the IgE binding with sera of challenge positive children showed the most intensive staining, but no correlation was found between different staining patterns and the clinical wheat sensitivity. SPT with rice, corn, millet or buckwheat was positive in 16/34 patients. The strong association between the positive oral wheat challenge and the positive SPT with the ethanol soluble gliadin suggests that also gliadin is an important allergen in wheat-allergic children with AD.

The 26, 38 and 69 kDa bands in wheat and the 46 and 66 kDa in oats could be classified as major IgE binding proteins of these cereals (> 50% of the sera were positive). (Varjonen 1995 ref.7564 4)

Varjonen E, Vainio E, Kalimo K, Juntunen-Backman K, Savolainen J. Skin-prick test and RAST responses to cereals in children with atopic dermatitis. Characterization of IgE-binding components in wheat and oats by an immunoblotting method. Clin Exp Allergy 1995;25(11):1100-7

[ 27 / 31 ]

I.V administration of a corn-derived dextrose solution, a 23-y-old pregnant female patient admitted to the hospital at term gestation developed an anaphylactic reaction. Orofacial swelling, difficulty in breathing, hypotension, cardiac arrhythmia, voice hoarseness, total body warmth and flushing occurred within 8 min of initiation of a 5% dextrose Lactated Ringer's solution. A sample of suspect solution found no contamination. Although the reaction elicited in this patient was rare, clinicians should be aware of the possibility of corn allergy due to the administration of i.v. fluids containing corn-derived dextrose. (Guharoy 1991 ref.5633 7)

Guharoy SR, Barajas M. Probable anaphylactic reaction to corn-derived dextrose solution. Vet Hum Toxicol 1991;33(6):609-10

[ 28 / 31 ]

Contact urticaria and anaphylactoid reaction from cornstarch surgical glove powder. (Assalve 1988 ref.7599 1)

Assalve D, Cicioni C, Perno P, Lisi P. Contact urticaria and anaphylactoid reaction from cornstarch surgical glove powder. Contact Dermatitis 1988;19(1):61

[ 29 / 31 ]

Anaphylaxis in a child on reintroduction of sweet corn after an elimination diet to treat eczema. (David 1984 ref.485 12)

David TJ. Anaphylactic shock during elimination diets for severe atopic eczema. Arch Dis Child 1984;59:983-986

[ 30 / 31 ]

Allergic reactions (e.g., urticaria) seen with corn syrup, corn dextrimaltose, corn invert sugar, corn isomerized dextrose and corn D-psicose (Howard 1959 ref.527 87) (Nishioka 1983 ref.528 01) (Nishioka 1984 ref.529 02)

Howard W.A, Todd RH, Dalton GL. Studies on the allergenicity of corn products. J Allergy 1959;30:381-386

[ 31 / 31 ]

If corn oil is not purified it may contain maize/corn protein. (Editor ref.195 11)

Editor Comment Editorial comment, common knowledge, or still to add - -

Non-Immune reactions

[ 1 ]

In this Chinese study, maize was the most influential source of dietary lead intake among the four common cereals of wheat, rice, foxtail millet and maize, whereas millet was the leading determinant of the blood lead level among the four cereals although the influential power was weaker than millet for dietary lead. Lead content in maize (47 ng/g) and millet (47 ng/g) was twice or even more times higher than the levels in wheat (26-30 ng/g) and rice (20-21 ng/g). (Zhang 1997 ref.21556 8)

Zhang ZW, Qu JB, Xu GF, Song LH, Wang JJ, Shimbo S, Watanabe T, Nakatsuka H, Higashikawa K, Ikeda M. Maize and foxtail millet as substantial sources of dietary lead intake. Sci Total Environ 1997 Dec 3;208(1-2):81-8.

[ 2 ]

In 60 migraine patients, the commonest foods causing reactions were wheat (78%), orange (65%), eggs (45%), tea and coffee (40% each), chocolate and milk (37%) each), beef (35%), and corn, cane sugar, and yeast (33% each). (Grant 1979 ref.1242 1)

Grant ECG. Food allergies and migraine. Lancet 1979;1:966-968

Occupational reactions

[ 1 ]

Starch is a widespread excipient of tablets. The major food allergen of maize, Zea m 14 is a heatresistant lipid transfer protein. A 19-year-old girl, apprentice of a pharmaceutical company, noticed an erythematous itching rash on both hands and the face associated with dyspnea everyday 2 hours after starting work in tablet manufacturing. Main excipients of these tablets are maize starch, microcrystalline cellulose and lactose. Total IgE level was 46 kU/l. Specific IgE to
maize and latex was not detected. A type I sensitization to maize bran
was detected by skin prick test, then by intracutaneous tests for maize bran and flour. Nasal provocation test with maize bran revealed a strong positive reaction with sneezing, conjunctival injection and
pruritus of the nose and eyes after 6 min. Moreover, the nasal flow
diminished. Western blot of maize flour incubated with patient serum showed a marked band at 50 kDa possibly matching the reduced soluble protein allergen of the maize endosperm. (Maniu 2010 ref.25180 7)

Maniu CM, Faupel U, Siebenhaar G, Hunzelmann N. Maize: a new occupational allergen in the pharmaceutical industry. Allergy 2010 Jul;65(7):930-931

[ 2 ]

The objective of this Mexican study was to evaluate the etiology of maize in allergic disease and the incidence. Of 661 patients, 56 (8.5%) manifested allergic symptoms attributable to maize, which correlated with a positive cutaneous response to its antigens. 54 gave a positive response to both antigens, while two to only one. Fifty (88%) of them worked with maize and had a significant relative risk value (asthma and/or rhinitis after maize contact and positive cutaneous reactivity for both antigens). The remaining six patients did not work with maize, (rhinitis and/or asthma after the ingestion of maize (corn-on-the-cob or popcorn), in addition two of them had angioedema or urticaria respectively, after ingestion of maize in any of its forms) four of them were included in the group who had a positive response for both allergens (n = 25), and two in that one with positive response for only one of these allergens (n = 100). The group of patients (n = 25) with positive results for antigens of maize pollen and grain but who did not work with it, was analyzed with more detail. The strong association of maize allergy with workers of maize results in the consideration of the influence of physical characteristics, years and frequency to contact with, and its sensitisation route. (Valencia 2006 ref.23879 7)

Valencia Zavala MP, Vega Robledo GB, Sánchez Olivas MA, Duarte Diaz RJ, Oviedo CL. Maize (Zea mays): allergen or toleragen? Participation of the cereal in allergic disease and positivity incidence in cutaneous tests. Rev Alerg Mex 2006 Nov-Dec;53(6):207-11.

[ 3 ]

Cereal-induced anaphylaxis in an adult after eating a baby cereal formula. A 34-year-old man, a carpenter, with previously diagnosed occupational asthma due to rye flour added to wood boards, developed severe anaphylaxis after testing a spoonful of baby cereal food - a non-gluten rice and corn formula). He developed respiratory and gastrointestinal symptoms, paleness and decreased level of consciousness. Skin prick test was positive for wheat, barley, rye flour, peanut and mustard. Serum specific IgE were found for all of these. A DBPCFC was positive for 0.1g of the cereal. A 37 kDa protein band was demonstrated in the baby food, flours and mustard. In addition, a defined 23 kDa band was found in the corn flour. (Asensio 2004 ref.9960 8)

Asensio T, Armentia A, Lombardero M, Callejo A, Martin G, Castrodeza J. Cereal-induced anaphylaxis in an adult after eating a baby cereal formula. Allergol Immunopathol (Madr) 2004;32(5):310-1

[ 4 ]

Occupational asthma to corn flour in bakers and millers (Quirce 1998 ref.2386 8)

Quirce s, Sastre J. Occupational asthma [Review]. Allergy 1998;53:633-641

[ 5 ]

In 42 employees working in the animal feed industry, 15/42 (34.9%) subjects had work-related respiratory dysfunction associated with or without nasal symptoms. (Park 1998 ref.2380 1)

Park HS, Nahm DH, et al. Occupational asthma and IgE sensitization to grain dust. J Korean Med Sci 1998;13(3):275-80

[ 6 ]

Occupational asthma to corn flour in bakers and millers (Quirce 1998 ref.2386 8) IgE mediated occupational asthma and rhinitis to grain dust. (Park 1997 ref.2384 3) Specific IgE, IgG and IgG4 antibodies to corn dust in exposed workers (Park 1998 ref.2379 3)

Park HS, Nahm DH, Suh CH, Kwon OY, Kim KS, Lee SW, Chung HK. Role of specific IgE, IgG and IgG4 antibodies to corn dust in exposed workers. Korean J Intern Med 1998;13(2):88-94

[ 7 ]

In an individual with IgE mediated corn dust-induced occupational asthma and rhinitis, 10 IgE-binding components (9 to 140 kD) were detected within the corn dust extracts. (Park 1997 ref.2384 3)

Park HS, Nahm DH. Identification of IgE-binding components in occupational asthma caused by corn dust. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 1997;79(1):75-9

[ 8 ]

Occupational asthma and asthma following oral ingestion of barley flour and beer made from barley. A 50-year-old man developed asthma both after exposure to feeding stuffs and flours and after ingestion of beverages made of cereal flours. He experienced tightness of the chest, wheezing, and cough accompanied by nasal and ocular itching, sneezing, and rhinorrhea shortly after exposure to feeding stuffs (grains) and flours in his work environment. Allergy to barley flour (and corn flour and mites) were demonstrated by skin testing and serum-specific IgE (barley - 4.75kU/L). Twenty minutes after bronchopulmonary challenge with 25 mg of barley flour, FEV1 decreased by 22%. A 20% fall in FEV1 was detected ten minutes after the ingestion of 50 mL of barley-made beer. The patient complained of dyspnea and wheezing, requiring inhaled albuterol. (Vidal 1995 ref.733 54)

Vidal C, Gonzalez Quintela A. Food-induced and occupational asthma due to barley flour. Ann Allergy 1995;75(2):121-4

[ 9 ]

The relationship between the physiologic and biologic effects of grain dust inhalation was investigated in 15 nonsmoking, nonasthmatic, nonatopic male grain handlers, who were exposed to buffered saline and aqueous corn dust extract by inhalation challenge in a crossover study. Compared with buffered saline, inhalation of corn dust extract resulted in significant airflow obstruction, which was observed within 30 min of exposure and persisted for 5 h. (Clapp 1994 ref.23888 7)

Clapp WD, Becker S, Quay J, Watt JL, Thorne PS, Frees KL, Zhang X, Koren HS, Lux CR, Schwartz DA. Grain dust-induced airflow obstruction and inflammation of the lower respiratory tract. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 1994 Sep;150(3):611-7.

[ 10 ]

In a group of 35 men employed in the processing of animal food studied to assess the relation between respiratory findings and immunological status, the most frequent positive skin prick reactions to occupational allergens were to fish flour (82.9%), followed by carotene (77.1%), corn (65.7%), four-leaf clover (62.9%), sunflower (54.3%), chicken meat (31.4%), soy (28.6%), and yeast (22.7%). (Zuskin1992 ref.2807 3)

Zuskin E, Kanceljak B, Schachter EN, Witek TJ, Maayani S, Goswami S, Marom Z, Rienzi N. Immunological and respiratory changes in animal food processing workers. Am J Ind Med 1992;21(2):177-91

[ 11 ]

In 32 swine farmers, 37% were reported to be allergic to corn flour. (Zuskin 1991 ref.7597 1)

Zuskin E, Kanceljak B, Schachter EN, Mustajbegovic J, Goswami S, Maayani S, Marom Z, Rienzi N. Immunological and respiratory findings in swine farmers. Environ Res 1991;56(2):120-30

[ 12 ]

Asthma attacks were suffered in food workers or cleaners is stimulated whenever the maize grain is shaken. (Urbach 1943 ref.23962 2)

Urbach E, Gottlieb P. Eds. Corn allergy: in Allergy. Grune & Stratton, New York 1943:345-50.

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