The food allergy information provided in this food allergy shopping guide will give families with detailed shopping help for safe food shopping. Our intention is to provide a comprehensive resource for food allergy families. This document is best when used while shopping for safe foods. You can print out the information you need from our food allergy shopping guide and take it with you when you shop. We have also provided several linked resources in our food allergy shopping guide, making it a great page to bookmark on your mobile device or tablet. View the document while you are shopping and reading labels.
Our food allergy shopping guide is a well researched list of common food ingredients and derivatives. Many food allergy experts took the time to add to this list, review it, and point out errors and omissions.
Our list is by no means a complete list, but it is the most extensive one you will find to date anywhere online. You are free to use our food allergy guidebook for your personal use and to freely share with other food allergy families. Reprints of our food allergy guidebook are prohibited unless approved by our club in writing.
Use the list as your personal food allergy shopping guide when purchasing foods for the club. It is also a great learning tool for allergy families just starting out.
The Food Allergy Labeling Law of 2004 does not include corn or meat products. The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Law of 2004 prohibits the use of ingredients containing the top eight allergens without specific allergen labeling on product packages. But this law does not apply to meats or to products containing corn derivatives.
Please be aware that new patents on food processing and manufacturing are constantly being filed. This means that formulas on prepackaged foods are subject to change at any time. The same product you are used to buying may have new ingredients or a more economical patented process that will make it suddenly unsafe for your child. Laws are there to protect food allergic children. So read the labels every time you buy.
There may be additional derivatives since this Food Allergy Shopping Guide was first published. Please use the comment section to bring anything to our attention. When we all work together we can accomplish more.
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Please contact the manufacturer to verify a food is allergen free if you have any doubt or suspicions.
And visit our Helpful Food Allergy Links page to view links to food manufacturers, recipe sites, and support groups for celiac and food allergy families.
Use the following information as a guide when you shop. Most products are labeled with allergen information in bold face after the ingredient listing on their package. Products containing corn do not have to list corn as an ingredient, so there is the possibility of hidden corn in many, many products. Fortunately, manufacturers in the allergy community are aware of this problem. Many of them will label corn as an ingredient even though the law doesn’t tell them they have to because consumers are demanding it.
It is rare instance, but also possible, that a manufacturer will incorrectly label a product as allergy free when it is not due to gross negligence. In these cases the government will step in and fine the company and possibly force them to remove allergen friendly labels from their products. Thankfully, in the past several years there have only been a handful of companies guilty of this practice. Often times they are local companies that produce ‘home-baked’ goods for consumers using either cross-contaminated equipment or even ingredients that contain the allergen.
There have also been rare cases when allergic reactions have occurred on properly labeled foods, and investigations have uncovered contaminated source products purchased by the manufacturer to produce the allergen-free food. So the underlying culprit in an accidental ingestion of a hidden allergen can be: an uneducated shopper who purchases a properly labeled package that contains an allergen, a negligent and uninformed manufacturer (ie: local bakery in your neighborhood) that doesn’t follow allergy safety guidelines, or a supplier that has not properly tested their product to make sure it hasn’t gotten cross contaminated with other allergens in their processing facility. Read the FDA's statement on the problem of cross contact and manufacturing.
Use this Guidebook as a shopping companion. When you are unsure or in doubt, call the manufacturer’s phone number on the label of the product you’d like to buy. Consult online allergy forums and local area support groups for additional information about products, too.
Please keep these things in mind as you shop for safe foods for your club and family.
A peanut allergy is not likely to be outgrown and the number of children with peanut allergies has tripled since 1997. Only about 20% of kids with peanut allergies will eventually outgrow them. Kids with peanut allergies are very sensitive and have pretty severe reactions because the peanut protein is stable and does not change when it is cooked or baked.
So kids will have reactions to the smallest amount of peanut protein they are exposed to. They can react after breathing in tiny particles in the air or touching a railing that was touched by a child who recently ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Peanut allergy is not the same as a tree nut allergy because technically, peanuts are not really nuts. They are actually a legume. They grow on roots under the soil. Peanuts are more related to soybeans than they are to almonds and walnuts.
Kids with peanut allergies can have mild reactions that simply cause hives. But it is also a potentially serious or deadly allergy.
Peanuts are the most common cause of anaphylactic reactions in people. They also account for the highest number of allergy related deaths in America.
The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN), cites a study that says peanut allergies are on the rise and have doubled in children over the last decade.
boxed salads in deli
nut butters (unless made in a dedicated facility)
any baked goods, foods in a bakery that do not contain peanuts are cross- contaminated with nuts if it is not a nut-free facility.
candy bars, chocolate chips (if they are not made in a dedicated facility they will have traces of peanut).
all ethnic foods, especially Mexican and Asian dishes
vegetarian dishes with meat substitutes
Alternative nut butters like soy nut butter or sunflower seed butter can be produced on equipment shared with other tree nuts or peanuts, commonly called, "shared equipment" on product labelling. Contact the manufacturer before purchasing these products.
Ice cream parlors should be avoided because the employees use the same scoop when they move from their non-peanut flavor to their peanut containing flavor.
Sometimes, foods that say they contain almonds or other tree nuts really contain peanuts instead.
Peanuts are also called ground nuts, beer nuts, or monkey nuts.
Younger brothers and sisters of children allergic to peanuts are at an increased risk for allergy to peanuts.
Traces of peanut are often found in chocolate candy.
cold-pressed peanut oil
expeller-pressed peanut oil
hydrolyzed plant protein
hydrolyzed vegetable protein (may or may not contain peanut)
vegetable oil (if source isn't specified)
natural flavoring (depending on the food, may contain peanut protein)
advisory statements like "may contain traces of peanut"
Arachis oil (another name for peanut oil)
Lecithin (can also come from soy, animal byproducts, corn, and eggs)
Sunflower seeds (through cross contamination)
One of the most common food allergies in kids and adults is tree nuts. Like peanuts, tree nuts tend to cause pretty serious allergic reactions, even if a child is exposed to only a very small amount. Anaphylactic reactions are possible and children with a serious tree nut allergy should have an EpiPen available in case of an emergency. This has proven to be a life long allergy. Studies have shown that less than 10% of nut allergy suffering children will outgrow their allergy. Just like the peanut allergy, doctors have also noticed that tree nut allergies are on the rise over the last decade. In 1997 only 0.2% of children were reported having tree nut allergies and by 2008 the number had increased significantly to 1.1%
There is a high likelihood that a child who reacts from one kind of tree nut will react to another kind. For this reason physicians and allergists recommend children and adults who react to a certain kind of nut avoid all nuts. There is also a high chance of cross-contamination too, because factories use a wide variety of nuts and they can’t guarantee that their equipment is 100% safe even after they have cleaned it really well. Dr. Scott H. Sicherer of Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, N.Y., did a study that shows there is a up to a 60% chance that a child with a peanut allergy will eventually develop a tree nut allergy.
Walnuts and cashews cause the most severe tree nut reactions. Walnuts are known to cross react strongly with pecans, however, and cashews react strongly with pistachios. This is another reason why experts urge patients who only test positive for one nut to avoid all nuts as a precaution.
Butternut *not to be mistaken for butternut squash, which is not a tree nut
Baked goods (cakes, cereal bars, cookies, doughnuts, energy/granola bars, muffins, pastries and more)
Baking mixes (cornbread, pancake, waffle, biscuit, cake, cookie, etc.)
Breading for chicken
Candy (all types)
Coffee (some commercially bagged ground and whole bean coffee, also self-serve bins are usually cross-contaminated)
Fried foods (at restaurants you need to check if the fryer is shared)
Gianduja (creamy chocolate with chopped up toasted nuts)
Ice cream, frozen desserts, frozen yogurts, sundae toppings
Imitation or artificially flavored extracts
Mandelonas (peanuts soaked in almond flavoring)
Mortadella (may contain pistachios)
Salads and salad dressing
Children allergic to just one tree nut should avoid peanuts and all other tree nuts. There is a high likelihood of cross-contamination at manufacturing plants. Also, there is a good chance a child allergic to one kind of nut will be allergic to other types too.
Tree nuts are in many unexpected foods. They are used for flavor and as a thickening agent. Always call the manufacturer when you question whether or not a product is safe to eat. If you are unsure, avoid the food completely.
Tree nuts are also a common ingredient in personal hygiene products. Check and double check your favorite brands to be safe.
Nutmeg is not made from nuts and is safe for people with nut allergies.
Foods like water chestnuts, coconuts, palm oil, and tropical oils do not need to be avoided by nut allergic people unless they are also allergic to these foods.
Seeds like sesame, sunflower, poppy, mustard, safflower, and canola do not need to be avoided unless you are also allergic to these foods.
Butternut *not to be mistaken for butternut squash, which is not a tree nut
Natural and artificial flavoring
Natural nut extract (for example, almond extract)
Nut butters (e.g., Almond butter, Hazelnut butter, Brazil nut butter, Macadamia nut butter, Pistachio nut butter, Shea nut butter, Karike butter, as well as other nut butters)
Nut oil (e.g., Walnut oil as well as other nut oils)
Nut paste Nut pieces
Pine nut (Indian, piñon, pinyon, pigndi, pigñolia, pignon nuts)
Piñon or Piñon nut
Natural and Artificial flavoring
Egg allergies are pretty common, especially in babies, toddlers and preschool aged kids. Some studies claim that about 66% of kids can outgrow their egg allergy by the time they are 7.
Both the yolks and the whites of eggs are made of proteins that can cause allergic reactions. It is possible for a child to be allergic to the egg yolk and not the white, but the whites cause more reactions than the yolks. In some rare instances egg allergies can develop in someone older.
Most people who are allergic react to the proteins in egg whites, but some can't tolerate proteins in the yolk. Allergic reactions to eggs can occur minutes or hours after eating them. Most reactions only last about 24 hours.
Although it is rare, there is a small percentage of egg allergic people who will have a serious anaphylactic reaction to an egg exposure.
Finally, those allergic to eggs are advised not to get an annual flu shot because the flu shot is cultured with egg ingredients. MMR vaccine also uses eggs, however there is a disagreement among experts as to whether or not the MMR is safe for those with egg allergies. Use your own discretion.
Breaded foods (some)
Caesar salad dressing
Cookies (especially chocolate chip)
Cream fillings in pastries, cookies, bakery goods
Fried foods (can have cross-contamination in a restaurant fryer)
Imitation crab meat
Jelly beans brushed with egg whites
Malted Beverages and Candies
Meat cooked in batter (chicken nuggets, fish sticks, etc...)
Simplesse (fat substitute)
Wine (some brands)
Eggs are in many unexpected foods. They are used as a binder and clarifying agent. Always call the manufacturer when you question whether or not a product is safe to eat. If you are unsure, avoid the food completely.
Egg protein is found in many products that you would not normally expect. Egg whites and shells are used as clarifying agents in soup stocks, wine, alcoholic drinks, coffee drinks, and consommés. Check the labels and when in doubt, avoid the food completely.
Apo Vitellenin (from the egg yolk of a chicken)
Baking powder containing egg white or egg albumin
Imitation egg product
Surimi (used in imitation seafood)
Lecithin (can also come from soy, animal byproducts, corn, and peanuts)
Fish Allergies are very common in countries where a lot of fish is eaten. About 20% of people worldwide are allergic to fish. In America about 7 million people report having allergies to fish. Fish allergies are lifelong. It is very unlikely a person will outgrow it. Most people with fish allergies don’t develop them until they are older, and 40% of them are adults when they have their first reaction. The protein in the flesh of the fish is the trigger for allergic people, but all parts of the fish are contaminated. Even fish oil and fish gelatin are harmful to a person allergic to fish. It is possible to be allergic to only one type of fish. But most people with fish allergies are allergic to many varieties of fish. This is because the proteins of one are similar to the proteins of other kinds of fish. For example, mackerel, haddock, cod, hake, and whiting all have similar proteins. In general raw fish causes more of an allergic reaction than cooked fish, because heating the fish alters the protein structure. But this is not always true. Very sensitive people cannot even be in a room where fish is being cooked because it will trigger an asthma attack. Reactions to fish allergies can be immediate or can be delayed up to 24 hours after exposure. Fish is known to cause dangerous anaphylactic reactions in highly sensitive people, especially bass, cod, halibut, herring, orange roughy, pollack, salmon, sardines, snapper, swordfish, trout, and tuna. It should be noted that carrageen is a marine algae and not a fish, and is considered safe for fish allergic people. Sometimes people have what seems like an allergic reaction to fish, but they are actually reacting to eating a spoiled fish. They get swelling, hives, asthmatic symptoms. A spoiled fish contains histamine in its tissues. If a person eats fish regularly and doesn’t have a reaction normally this could be the reason.
Barbecue sauce (some are made from Worcestershire)
Caponata, a Sicilian eggplant relish
Imitation fish or shellfish
Dining out in a restaurant can be quite dangerous if the staff are not properly trained to tag, prepare, and deliver your food safely.
Ask restaurant staff if they use the same fryer to cook fish as they do other items like french fries.
(This is not a comprehensive list)
Caesar salad dressing
Ceviche (fish or shellfish ‘cooked’ in citrus marinade)
Fumet (fish stock)
Gelatin (it is usually made from pigskins, cattle bones, and cattle hides. A very small percentage used today is from fish bones and skins.)
Nam pla (Thai fish sauce)
Omega-3 supplements (only use flaxseed varieties)
Surimi (used in imitation crab meat)
Vitamin D-3 (is derived from lanolin (sheep) or fish.) Be sure to check your milk brands fortified with D-3.
Nearly 60% of shellfish allergy sufferers are adults. It is an allergy that often doesn’t manifest until adulthood, too.
Shellfish can cause dangerous anaphylactic reactions to highly sensitive people.
Like some of the other top allergens, those with severe immediate reactions to shellfish are often required to carry an EpiPen in case of an accidental exposure.
There are two classes of shellfish that cause allergies: mollusks and crustaceans. Clams, mussels, and oysters are examples of mollusks and shrimp, lobster and crabs are examples of crustaceans. These two groups are not biologically related but people that have an allergic reaction to one generally have a reaction to the other kind too. So, many people who are allergic to any shellfish are advised to avoid all shellfish. The protein that experts believe causes shellfish allergies is called tropomyosin. It is also present in dust mites and cockroaches. Jewish kosher law forbids the eating of shellfish. Allergy sufferers may be able to find suitable products free from cross-contamination from kosher manufacturers.
Asian sauces (ask restaurant staff, if in store, check labels).
Fruits de mer
Sliced fish soup
Surimi is a processed fish product that is a main ingredient in imitation crab or shrimp products. It is made from white fish (usually pollock or hake, but can be cod, swordfish, tilapia, even shark). Surimi may or may not contain shellfish. Call the manufacturer with your concerns before consuming surimi. Surimi is produced in many countries and processing practices vary. Processing equipment that also processes shellfish on the same lines will be cross contaminated.
Shellfish protein can be released in cooking steam so those with shellfish allergies should not be exposed to boiling shellfish.
It is also advisable to avoid all kinds of shellfish once you have reacted to one kind. The chances of reacting to another kind of shellfish are very high.
Glucosamine, a dietary supplement, is usually made from the shells of crustaceans. The proteins that cause shellfish allergies are not found in the shells. Recent studies have shown that glucosamine is safe for people with shellfish allergies, but if you are concerned, buy vegetarian glucosamine.
Omega-3 supplements are generally made from seafood. The most common source is cod liver oil, but check ingredients on the label before you take them.
Do not eat at a seafood restaurant if you have a fish or shellfish allergy. Ordering non-seafood items in a seafood restaurant is dangerous due to cross-contamination.
According to the Mayo Clinic, octopus and squid are also considered shellfish and should be avoided.
Crawfish (Crayfish or Crawdads)
No one ever suspects they are allergic to wheat, at least not according to most studies, but it is has proven to be one of the most common food intolerances.
Less than 1/2% of the total population is allergic to wheat but more than 15% have wheat intolerance (some studies put the number even higher).
Wheat allergy sufferers have a sudden reaction to wheat.
They may cough, have an asthma attack, show breathing difficulties, develop a skin rash like hives or eczema, and possibly vomit.
Please Note:Those who have symptoms of intolerance to wheat and not a wheat allergy- It is VERY likely you have gluten intolerance. Please read the gluten intolerance section.
Wheat intolerance is commonly diagnosed in children and it is quite different than an allergic response.
Less than 6% of children suffer from a true wheat allergy. Wheat intolerance, on the other hand, usually produces symptoms that arise hours and possibly days after an exposure.
Children develop digestive problems like uncomfortable bloating, headaches, fatigue, and stomach problems. If you have symptoms of wheat intolerance it is advisable to test for gluten intolerance too.
A wheat free diet is not enough for someone with intolerance symptoms because they are probably reacting to the protein in wheat and similar proteins are found in a handful other grains as well and the affected child will continue to have symptoms with exposures to those grains.
Ice Cream Cones
Imitation Crab Meat
Modified Food Starch (frequently)
Modified Starch (frequently)
MSG (can be made from sugar cane, sugar beets, corn sugar, wheat starch)
Surimi (ingredient used to make imitation crab meat)
Wheat can be a hidden ingredient in medications so you really need to inform your doctor before taking a prescription.
Wheat is also an ingredient in play dough, and can be in glue.
Buckwheat is NOT an allergen for people allergic to wheat or for people wheat and gluten intolerant.
Enriched, white and whole-wheat flour
Fu (dried wheat gluten)
Hydrolyzed wheat protein
Meripro 711 * this modified wheat product has been linked to anaphylaxis in a recent Denmark study
Spelt (dinkel, farro)
Surimi (ingredient used to make imitation crab meat)
Triticale (a cross between wheat and rye)
Hydrolyzed wheat protein
Ingredients that may contain Wheat:
acetic acid (an ingredient in vinegar and is sometimes derived from wheat)
isolated vegetable protein
hydrolyzed plant protein
hydrolyzed vegetable protein
maltodextrin (this is often made from wheat in Europe and more commonly made from corn in America)
modified food starch
Gluten intolerance is a broad term which includes all kinds of sensitivity to Gluten, the protein found in certain grains. People sensitive to gluten cannot eat the grains found in wheat, rye, barley, and ‘contaminated’ oats. (Some are even sensitive to oats as well, but others can eat certified gluten-free oats). There are many varieties of these grains so the intolerant child needs to avoid a very long list of grains with names like semolina, bulgur, and spelt, to name a few. About 1 in 7 people have gluten intolerance. A smaller percentage, about 1 in 133 people, have an autoimmune disorder called Celiac Disease. In Celiac the villi in the small intestine are attacked by antibodies produced and meant to attack the gluten proteins. Most Gluten sensitive people get a negative or inconclusive result when they undergo Celiac testing. Conservative doctors will encourage non-Celiac gluten intolerant patients to do a trial gluten free diet to see if eliminating the protein will improve their overall health and reduce symptoms. There are many symptoms of gluten intolerance. Some of the most common ones include gassiness, bloating, cramps, diarrhea, poor growth or weight gain in children, depression, headaches, muscle aches, and a term they call ‘brain fog’, which means difficulty concentrating. It is possible to test negative for Celiac disease and still have gluten intolerance. It is important to be aware of your risks of developing Celiac disease, especially if you suffer from gluten intolerance. There are currently two genes which are easy to test for and can confirm the likelihood of developing Celiac for a person eating a diet full of gluten and unwilling to restrict him or herself. Celiac disease can be very dangerous if left untreated and is associated with many other autoimmune disorders like Type 1 Diabetes, and even neurological diseases like Ataxia and epilepsy. Celiac patients are often sensitive to various gluten free grains as well.
Breaded meats or poultry
Ice cream cones
Imitation Crab Meat
Candy (many candies are gluten-free, so read labels)
Canned baked beans
Packaged cereals, even corn cereals
Commercially prepared broth
Commercially prepared chocolate milk
Commercially prepared soup
Vegetables with commercially prepared sauces
Abyssinian hard (Wheat triticum durum)
Barley Grass (can contain seeds)
Barley Hordeum vulgare
Bulgur (Bulgar Wheat/Nuts)
Club Wheat (Triticum aestivum subspecies compactum)
Common Wheat (Triticum aestivum)
Cookie Dough Pieces
Disodium Wheatgermamido Peg-2 Sulfosuccinate
Durum wheat (Triticum durum)
Einkorn (Triticum monococcum)
Emmer (Triticum dicoccon)
Enriched Bleached Flour
Enriched Bleached Wheat Flour
Flour (normally this is wheat)
Fu (dried wheat gluten)
Groats (barley, wheat)
Hordeum Vulgare Extract
Hydrolyzed Wheat Gluten
Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein
Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein Pg-Propyl Silanetriol
Hydrolyzed Wheat Starch
Hydroxypropyltrimonium Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein
Kamut (Pasta wheat)
Kecap Manis (Soy Sauce)
Ketjap Manis (Soy Sauce)
Maida (Indian wheat flour)
Malted Barley Flour
Macha Wheat (Triticum aestivum)
Meripro 711 * this modified wheat product has been linked to anaphylaxis in a recent Denmark study
Oriental Wheat (Triticum turanicum)
Persian Wheat (Triticum carthlicum)
Poulard Wheat (Triticum turgidum)
Polish Wheat (Triticum polonicum)
Rice Malt (if barley or Koji are used)
Shot Wheat (Triticum aestivum)
Spirits (certain kinds)
Spelt (Triticum spelta)
Sprouted Wheat or Barley
Stearyldimoniumhydroxypropyl Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein
Suet in Packets
Timopheevi Wheat (Triticum timopheevii)
Triticale X triticosecale
Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Flour Lipids
Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Extract
Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil
Udon (wheat noodles)
Vavilovi Wheat (Triticum aestivum)
Vital Wheat Gluten
Wheat, Abyssinian Hard triticum durum
Wheat amino acids
Wheat Bran Extract
Wheat Durum Triticum
Wheat Germ Extract
Wheat Germ Glycerides
Wheat Germ Oil
Wheat Germamidopropyldimonium Hydroxypropyl Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein
Wheat Grass (can contain seeds)
Wheat Triticum aestivum
Wheat Triticum Monococcum
Wheat (Triticum Vulgare) Bran Extract
Wild Einkorn (Triticum boeotictim)
Wild Emmer (Triticum dicoccoides)
Alcohol (check with the manufacturer)
Coloring (very rarely)
Dry Roasted Nuts (frequently)
Food Starch Modified
Glucose Syrup (very rarely)
Hydrolyzed Plant Protein
Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein
Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate
Modified Food Starch
Soy Sauce (almost always)
Soy Sauce Solids (almost always)
The tricky part of being gluten free is in learning to recognize hidden gluten. Manufacturers have to label wheat as an ingredient when used because it is the law in the United States. If wheat is listed, you know you can't eat the food. But "wheat free" doesn't always mean "gluten-free." Since barley, rye, oats, and their derivatives are all natural foods, they can sometimes be listed under fairly safe sounding names. That's why people with gluten intolerance, including children, must learn to recognize hidden gluten ingredients and look for foods specifically labeled as “certified gluten free.”
Soy, a product of soybeans, is a common allergen in children, and it generally starts when soy formula is introduced for a child with milk allergies. Although a soy allergy can be anaphylactic, it is more commonly not.
Although soy rarely causes anaphylaxis, children with peanut allergies and diagnosed with asthma are at greater risk and should be watched closely. There have been rare instances of fatal response to soy and parents of newly diagnosed children should be aware that although it is extremely rare, it is possible. Overall, reactions to soy allergy are generally mild compared to other common allergens. Read more about managing a soy allergy from Health Canada's Website.
Children typically suffer from hives, nausea, or allergic rhinitis. For those that suffer from soy intolerance, symptoms are quite different. Studies have actually shown that soy intolerance is common among children with milk protein intolerance. Soy allergies are often outgrown by age 3, but there are cases of adult soy allergy too.
Soy intolerance, however, is similar to gluten intolerance. In rare cases it can cause damage to the villi, the small hairs in the small intestine that smoosh up our food and help the body to absorb vital nutrients. This type of intestinal damage is similar to the type of damage found in celiac disease. Fast food restaurants like McDonald’s and Burger King use soy in their hamburger meat, sauces, and buns. Most all breads in the U.S. contain soy derivatives and many contain soy flour.
Soy intolerance may cause severe fatigue, body aches, lower immunity and more infections than normal, inability to concentrate, back pain, and headaches.
Natural flavorings in foods are often soy derived. Call and ask manufacturers if they use soy as a carrier protein in their natural flavoring.
Flavorings may be soy based.
Hydrolyzed plant and hydrolyzed vegetable protein in the US are likely to be soy.
Vitamin E contains soy bean oil.
Contact the company to identify derivatives in vegetable broth, gums, and starches, as they tend to be soy based.
Always ask the staff at a restaurant what oil they use for French fries and other fried items, as well as to sear meat and grease pans. Vegetable oil made from soy is usually the cheapest type and most widely used.
Natural crayons are made from 85% soy oil. Synthetic crayons are soy-free.
Hydrolyzed soy protein
Mono Sodium Glutamate (MSG)
Shoyo or Shoyu sauce
Soy protein concentrate
Soy protein isolate
Soybean curd, granules
Surimi (an ingredient in imitation crab meat)
Textured vegetable protein (TVP)
Canned chicken broth
Lecithin (can also come from corn, animal byproducts, egg, sunflowers, and peanuts)
Hydrolyzed plant protein
Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
Mono- and di-glycerides
Vitamin E often contains soy bean oil
Corn is the hardest of the top ten allergens to regulate because it is not only excluded from the U.S. government’s regulatory list of common allergens, but it is also in over 80% of the processed foods, drinks, cosmetic, and hygiene products we consume.
A corn allergy can be severe and cause anaphylactic shock but there are few reports of it, so experts consider corn allergies very rare.
Corn intolerance, however, is more common than you think. Many people on already restrictive diets will eventually discover that they also need to avoid corn when they try an elimination diet. When dealing with a corn allergy or intolerance the best practice is to make the entire house corn-free, which is a daunting task to say the least, but necessary to help the child cope better.
Corn is also a highly fungal food and a corn-free diet may be prescribed to help a patient overcome a fungal overgrowth issue. This is quite different than dealing with an actual corn allergy or corn intolerance, however. The corn-allergic or corn-intolerant person will get physical symptoms that make them feel ill either immediately or within 24-48 hours when they are exposed to corn. Those on a corn restricted diet for fungal issues may decide to resume moderate amounts of corn ingestion once the body has healed and recovered from the fungal infection.
Various meats (cold cuts, ham, hotdogs, sausages)
Breaded or fried foods
Cheese (all kinds, sliced cheese is coated in corn starch, it is an added ingredient in cottage cheese. Know your brands and read all labels.)
Fried potatoes or fried rice (if corn oil is used)
Mixed vegetables (frozen, canned)
Pork and beans
Breads/ pizza crusts dusted with corn meal
Pancakes (certain mixes)
Gravy (thickened with corn starch, for instance)
Canned or frozen fruits sweetened with corn syrup
Dates and other fruit confections
Ice creams, sherbets
Chocolate milk, milk shakes, soy milks, eggnog
American wines, whiskey, gin, beer, ale
Carbonated beverages such as Coca-Cola, 7-Up, etc
Jams and jellies
Adhesives (envelopes, stickers, stamps)
Fish oil products
Corn is a hidden ingredient in many products that you wouldn’t think contain corn as an ingredient or a derivative. Contact the manufacturer to find out if a product ingredient is derived from corn or not.
Xanthan gum is a bacteria that is grown on corn and used in gluten-free baked goods as a binder. Some people with corn allergies also have to avoid xanthan gum.
Because corn is not officially recognized as a common allergen companies do not have to legally disclose corn byproducts in their ingredient labels. Always consult corn allergy websites, support groups, and forums for experience and advice from other corn allergy/ intolerance sufferers.
Because corn is used in so many processed products and unregulated as an allergen, it is impossible to generate a definitive list of ingredient derivatives containing corn. If you or your child suffer from a corn allergy and you think you have had a reaction to a product derivative, report it on an allergen list.
Don’t lick envelopes if you have a corn allergy. The adhesive is made from corn starch.
The glucose syrup used in IVs is made from corn.
Acetic acid (an ingredient in vinegar that is sometimes derived from corn)
Aspartame (Artificial sweetener)
Blended sugar (sugaridextrose)
Calcium magnesium acetate (CMA)
Calcium stearoyl lactylate
Caramel and caramel color
Citrus cloud emulsion (CCS)
Coco glycerides (cocoglycerides)
Corn alcohol, corn gluten
Corn oil, corn oil margarine
Corn sweetener, corn sugar
Corn syrup, corn syrup solids
Corn, popcorn, cornmeal
DATUM (a dough conditioner)
Dextrose (also found in IV solutions)
Dextrose anything (such as monohydrate or anhydrous)
Distilled white vinegar (can also be from wheat, but in the U.S. is always corn)
High fructose corn syrup
Hydrolyzed corn protein
Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose pthalate (HPMCP)
Invert syrup or sugar
Malt syrup from corn
Malt, malt extract
Modified cellulose gum
Modified corn starch
Mono and di glycerides
Polylactic acid (PLA)
Salt (iodized salt always contains corn in the form of maltodextrin)
Sodium starch glycolate
Sodium stearoyl fumarate
Splenda (Artificial sweetener)
Starch (any kind that's not specified)
Sucralose (Artificial sweetener)
Tocopherol (vitamin E, unless the label specifically says corn-free)
Treacle (aka golden syrup)
Vanilla, natural flavoring
Vanilla, pure or extract
Vinegar, distilled white
Xylitol (xylitol U.S.A. is made from birch and not corn)
Alcohol (almost ALWAYS contains corn)
Baking powder (almost ALWAYS contains corn. Only a few brands don’t)
Brown Sugar (generally okay if no carmel color is added)
Flavorings (unless the product is listed as corn-free, they are likely corn derived).
Fructose (almost ALWAYS contains corn)
Fruit juice concentrate (know your brands)
Glucose, Glucose syrup (can be made from cane sugar and beet sugar)
Citric Acid (almost ALWAYS contains corn. Only a few brands don’t)
Honey (corn syrup may be present or fed to bees)
Lactic Acid (usually made from corn starch but can be made from beet sugar)
Lecithin (can also come from soy, animal byproducts, egg, and peanuts)
Modified food starch (almost always contains corn)
Molasses (corn syrup may be present)
Polysorbates (e.g. Polysorbate 80)
Propylene glycol monostearate
Seminola (unless from wheat)
Sorghum (the syrup or the grain CAN be cross-contaminated with corn)
Stearic Acid (almost ALWAYS corn derived. It can be animal derived too. It is a binder and is used in gum, candy, butter flavoring, vanilla flavoring, and fruit wax on fresh fruit)
Sugar that is not identified as cane or beet sugar
Vanilla Extract (almost always made with corn glycerin or corn-based alcohol)
Vegetable anything that is not specific
Vitamins (unless the label specifies it more than likely has corn)
Yeast (usually grown on corn or wheat)
Dairy is a common allergy in infants and toddlers. About 2.5% of children under age 3 are diagnosed with a dairy allergy.
Most children who develop a dairy allergy will eventually outgrow it. Common symptoms are a stuffy nose, skin rashes, hives, eczema, blood in stools, asthma, and in rare instances, anaphylaxis.
A dairy intolerance is much different than an allergy and is caused when the child is missing an important digestive enzyme that can break down the sugar or the proteins in the milk.
Lactose intolerance is the most common type and about 30% of the population has it. Lactose is the sugar found in milk and when the body can’t break it down it will cause gassiness, bloating, and stomach cramps. This is the most common food intolerance and is lifelong and will only worsen as the child grows and ages.
Casein intolerance has similar symptoms but it is much harder to manage. Casein is the protein found in dairy products and it is used as a filler in many processed products on the shelves in stores. An intolerance to casein will not show up on an allergy test so the only way to discover it is through an elimination diet. And foods labeled dairy free often have casein in them as an ingredient.
Protein bars and powders
Do not buy meat at the deli as it is cross-contaminated.
Some brands of canned tuna fish contain casein.
Some meats may contain casein as a binder.
Many restaurants put butter on steaks after they have been grilled to add extra flavor. The butter is not visible after it melts.
The following ingredients are SAFE for people with casein intolerance and dairy allergies: Calcium Lactate, Calcium Stearoyl Lactylate, Cocoa Butter, Cream of Tartar, Lactic Acid, Oleoresin, Sodium Lactate, and Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate.
Artificial butter flavor
Butter Solids Buttermilk
Whey Demineralized Whey
Dry milk powder
Dry milk solids
Hydrolyzed Milk Protein
Milk (whole, lowfat, and skim)
Sherbert, sherbet (spelling variation)
Sour Milk Solids
Sweetened Condensed Milk
Whey Protein Concentrate
Whey Protein Hydrolysate
Artificial Flavors / Flavoring
Bacarian cream flavoring
Brown sugar flavoring
Coconut Cream Flavoring
High Protein Flour
Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein
Lactic Acid Starter Culture
Natural Egg Flavor
Natural Flavors / Flavoring
Non-Dairy (may still contain casein, a protein found in milk)
We all know that ingredients are substances that form part of a mixture which creates a food product. (You know what they are: eggs, milk, soy, etc....) But many people new to the food allergy world are lost on ingredient derivatives.
What are Derivatives?They are ingredients with possible hidden allergens because they are final products that first use a variety of other ingredients to be created.
The source items that are used to create the final food additive or ingredient are a concern to allergic shoppers. These derived ingredients can use different patented processes to be created. They can also use a variety of plant or animal sources to make the same end product, and labeling of their source ingredients is not always required. To see a list of food additives and what they are used for, visit Nutrition Data.
To simplify, let’s look at a common food ingredient: Gelatin. It is a colorless and odorless powdery ingredient. We have a specific name for it: gelatin. It comes from animal tissues and bones. It is a form of collagen. But gelatin can come from a variety of animal species and can come from various parts of the animals when they are harvested for the final end product: gelatin.
This is what is meant by the term derivatives. Shoppers need to be aware that certain products use many different source ingredients in their creation. A lot of the time it is a money factor for manufacturers. So a manufacturer that does not cater to people with food allergies may change their source for an ingredient and this could cause an inadvertent reaction in the allergic person who has been safely eating that product for years. There are countless derivative ingredients on the market that can be made with various source ingredients.
You are probably wondering, what is xanthan gum, right? It is simply a bacteria that is most often (but not always) fed corn to get it to grow and multiply. This ingredient is often used in gluten-free products to act as a gelling binder. Although it is mostly grown on corn it can also be derived from soy and wheat. Xanthan gum is a very controversial ingredient for food allergic folks. Some allergic people do not react to xanthan gum and claim it is not something to worry about. Some manufacturers will use it and still label their product free from corn, wheat, and soy. The reasoning behind this stance is simple. They believe that since the corn, soy, and wheat are food products for the xanthan gum and not actually present in the final product then the ingredient (xanthan gum) is allergen free. This philosophy makes sense: you are allergic to corn but still eat beef, and cows are fed corn in their diet. Beef producers do not label their hamburger patties as containing corn because their cows ate the corn while they were alive. Thus, xanthan gum producers do not label their xanthan gum as corn, wheat, or soy containing. On the other hand, there are many, many corn, soy, or wheat allergic folks who will also react to xanthan gum either because it is grown on corn, soy, or wheat or because they are also sensitive to xanthan gum itself. Other corn, soy, or wheat allergic people do not react to xanthan gum. If you have an allergy to corn, soy, and/or wheat and find that you still have symptoms after you have modified your diet you may want to cut out xanthan gum to see if it is a problem for you.
Caramel color is a food additive used to create foods that look appetizing. It is made by heating a carbohydrate. The most common carbohydrates used to make caramel color are natural sweeteners from corn. This is especially true in North America. Caramel color can contain gluten, though. It depends on how it is manufactured. In the USA caramel color must conform with the FDA standard of identity from 21CFR CH.1. This statute says: “the color additive caramel is the dark-brown liquid or solid material resulting from the carefully controlled heat treatment of the following food-grade carbohydrates: Dextrose (corn sugar), invert sugar, lactose (milk sugar), malt syrup (usually from barley malt), molasses (from cane), starch hydrolysates and fractions thereof (can include wheat), sucrose (cane or beet). Also, acids, alkalis and salts are listed as additives which may be employed to assist the caramelization process.” It is always best to check with the manufacturer.
Most celiac organizations in the USA and Canada do not believe that wheat starch is safe for celiacs. In Europe, however, Codex Alimentarius Quality wheat starch is considered acceptable in the celiac diet by most doctors and celiac organizations. This is a higher quality of wheat starch than is generally available in the USA or Canada. The wheat starch is tested and only when it passes an inspection does it get used by food manufacturers.
What are they? Simply put, natural flavors come from plant or bacteria by-products, or are made by chemists experimenting with molecules. They can be made from anything that occurs naturally such as parts of plants or animals.
In 2006 the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) ruled that manufacturers must declare when natural flavors contain one or more of the eight major food allergens:(peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, wheat, soy, fish, and shellfish). According to 21 C.F.R. S 101,22(a)(3): “[t]he terms natural flavor or natural flavoring means the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof. Whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional.”
About DextrinUnless you know the source, you must avoid dextrin if you are allergic to corn, wheat, and/or gluten.
It is an incompletely hydrolyzed starch that is created from carbohydrates and is used in many, many applications.
Dextrins can be made from the following ingredients:
It can be created by dry heating or through the treatment of safe and suitable alkalis, acids, or pH control agents. It can also be made by drying the acid or alkali treated starch.
If you are pleased with the work we have done to provide families suffering from food allergies, please consider making a small donation to our club. You thoughtful donation will be used to help fund our efforts to provide materials for additional neighborhood clubs, facilitator training materials, and valuable cooking resources for kids. Our tax id is: 27-2909628. Contributions to our club are deductible according to section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code. We are also qualified to receive tax deductive bequests, devises, transfers, or gifts under section 2055, 2106, or 2522 of the Code.
We have compiled our list from several online sources and also from various volunteer researchers. We would like to acknowledge the following contributors for their work with our Food Allergy Shopping Guide:
FAAN of Canada
Taralyn Kohler, Board Member of Cilie Yack’s Sous Club for Kids
Karen Reill, of http://onlysometimesclever.wordpress.com
Theresa Roman, Treasurer of Cilie Yack’s Sous Club for Kids
Joel and Mary Schaefer of Allergy Chefs, Inc.
Kristy Swain, Founding member of Cilie Yack’s Sous Club for Kids, Inc.
Caryn Talty, President of Cilie Yack’s Sous Club for Kids