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Almonds are the seeds of a widely cultivated tree belonging to the rosaceae family. Even though the fruit of the almond is a drupe and not a true nut with a hard shell around the seeds, they belong among major tree nuts that can cause a potentially fatal food allergy.
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Tree nuts are considered as one of the most frequent causes of food allergy, with almond allergy being among them. In Europe and in the United States the frequency of tree nut allergy as a whole is estimated to range between 0.2% and 0.5% both in children and in adults. The only treatment for an almond allergy is a strict and lifelong avoidance of almonds.
To protect consumers from the potentially fatal consequences of almond intake, allergen labelling is required by law in many countries. Almonds, along with other tree nuts, are regulated in the EU (Regulation (EU) No 1169/201) and the US (U.S. FDA – FALCPA 2004).
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