Parthenolide in Danish biodynamic and organic milk: A new source of exposure to an allergenic sesquiterpene lactone

Evy Paulsen, Rime B El-Houri, Klaus E Andersen, Lars P Christensen

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


Background: The sunflower family of plants (Compositae = Asteraceae) is currently the most allergenic plant family worldwide, according to the number of sensitizing species. Secondary plant metabolites, including the allergenic sesquiterpene lactones present in Compositae plants, may occur in food items either through their presence in, or through contamination of, plant-based raw materials, or through their occurrence in products of non-plant origin. Objective: To analyse biodynamic, organic and conventional milk for the presence of the sesquiterpene lactone parthenolide. Methods: The content of parthenolide in the milk samples was investigated in dichloromethane extracts obtained by liquid-liquid extraction, followed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analyses. Results: The concentration of parthenolide was 0.07 ±0.004 ppm in biodynamic milk, 0.05 ±0.002 ppm in organic milk, and not detectable (<0.002 ppm) in conventional milk. Conclusions: This is the first report of a potent contact allergen in milk. There seems to be an association between the time that the dairy cattle spend grazing and the amount of parthenolide detected. Although the concentration is low, it is estimated to be high enough to elicit dermatitis in the most sensitive persons by direct contact with the milk.

TidsskriftContact Dermatitis
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)208-212
StatusUdgivet - okt. 2018

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