We manufacture pollen allergen source material from around 100 different plant species that grow all over the world. The manufacturing scale ranges from small scale collections, yielding a few hundred grams, to large scale production batches, yielding more than 100 kg of pure pollen.
The flowers used for pollen production are either cultivated or collected from the wild. A majority of the plants that we cultivate is farmed near our headquarters in the south of Sweden. This is also where most of our teams of collectors are based during collection in the wild. The center for our collection of pollen in the US is located in the state of Missouri where we also have the capacity to carry out the first steps of purification.
In order to source pollen from almost anywhere in the world, we have established a vast network of approved partners. To ensure our quality standards, we regularly visit and audit our partners. In addition, all pollen batches must undergo final processing and quality control at our headquarters before release.
Our cultivation and harvesting follows Good Agricultural and Collection Practices (GACP). A typical production starts by securing the fields, followed by controlling and sowing the seeds. During cultivation, the fields are regularly inspected by trained personnel, and when the blooming season is approaching, the inspection frequency increases.
The harvest needs to be carried out at exact the right time; if the flowers are picked too early, many of the pollen grains may be immature, and if they are picked too late, there is a risk that pollen will be lost in the wind, both events resulting in a low production yield. Grasses are usually harvested by collecting the flower heads using a custom made combined harvester, whereas species collected in the wild usually are hand-picked. Collection of pollen from trees such as Birch or Alder requires sky-lifts to reach the high hanging male catkins.
After harvest, the flowers go through a number of purification steps to produce the final pollen allergen source material. The entire manufacturing process is long and requires rigorous planning; the lead time from securing the fields until final release of the pollen batch can be up to 18 months.
Pollen is central in the reproduction of plants and is used by the plant to transfer male genetic material to the female part of the reproductive system. Pollen comes in a wide variety of sizes, forms and shapes. The pollen of anemophilous, or wind-pollenated species relies on the wind to transfer the pollen and is therefore relatively large and light-weight. It is typically released in large quantities and can travel long distances. Entomophilous, or insect pollinated, species use insects to transfer their pollen. The pollen is usually sticky and small, with a high density. The diameter of pollen grains ranges from around 10 μm, in case of the smallest insect pollinated species up to around 100 μm for the largest wind-pollinated species.
Pollen allergy is a global health problem with typical symptoms of the upper respiratory tract being running nose and itchy eyes. Asthma is also common among pollen allergic patients. The prevalence of allergy to specific species depends on the geographic area, with grass and tree pollen allergy usually being dominant in the cool-temperate areas. In warmer climates the Mediterranean, allergy to olive trees (Olea europaea) and wall pellitory (Parietaria spp.) is common. The dominant pollen allergy on the American continent, common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia), is also spreading to the European continent where it, in some parts, is a growing problem. In Japan, the by far most dominant pollen allergen comes from the Japanese cedar tree (Cryptomeria japonica).
Cross-reactivity, attributed to a few protein families, is common between pollen species. For closely related species, e.g. for the early blooming trees (Birch, Hazel and Alder) or for grasses, the cross-reactivity is usually clinically important due to cross-reactivity between the disease driving major allergens. Cross-reactivity between pollen allergens and related allergens in foods (e.g. birch pollen-apple) give rise to the oral allergy syndrome that causes swollen and itchy mouth and throat when eating specific foods.
This is a selection of our pollen allergens. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any additional requests for allergen source material.
|Article No.||Scientific name - grasses||Synonyms||Common name|
|0266||Agrostis stolonifera||Carpet bentgrass, creeping bentgrass|
|0156||Anthoxanthum odoratum||Anthoxanthum nitens||Sweet vernal grass|
|0194||Avena sativa||Avena byzantina, Avena orientalis||Cultivated oats|
|0109||Dactylis glomerata||Orchard grass|
|0110||Festuca pratensis (elatior)||Meadow fescue|
|0111||Festuca rubra||Festuca elatior||Red fescue|
|0112||Holcus lanatus||Notholcus lanatus||Velvet grass|
|0207||Hordeum vulgare||Hordeum sativum||Cultivated barley|
|0214||Lolium perenne||Lolium boucheanum||Perennial rye grass|
|0113||Phleum pratense||Phleum nodosum||Timothy|
|0116||Poa pratensis||Poa angustifolia||Kentucky bluegrass|
|0117||Secale cereale||Secale segetale||Cultivated rye|
|0159||Triticum aestivum||Triticum vulgare, Ttriticum sativum||Wheat|
|Article No.||Scientific name - trees||Synonyms||Common name|
|0123||Alnus glutinosa||Black alder|
|0125||Betula pendula||Betula verrucosa||White birch|
|0127||Corylus avellana||Hazel, filbert|
|0128||Fagus sylvatica||European beech|
|0420||Juniperus ashei||Juniperus sabinoides, Juniperus mexicana||Mountain cedar|
|0325||Olea europaea||Olea chrysophylla||European olive|
|0142||Quercus robur||Quercus pedunculata||English oak|
|0143||Salix caprea||Sallow, goat willow|
|Article No.||Scientific name - flowers/weeds||Synonyms||Common name|
|0205||Ambrosia artemisiifolia||Ambrosia elatior||Common ragweed|
|0101||Artemisia vulgaris||Common mugwort|
|0204||Chenopodium album||Chenopodium reticulatum||Lambs quarter|
|0378||Kali soda||Salsola kali||Russian thistle|
|0647||Parietaria judaica||Parietaria diffusa||Wall pellitory|
|0291||Parietaria officinalis||Parietaria erecta||Erect wall pellitory|
|0148||Urtica dioica||Urtica galeopsifolia||Stinging nettle|