A Food Allergy Primer for Culinary Students.

Ken Love   Nov. 2007

 

 

What is Food Allergy?

A food allergy is an immunologic response to a food protein. It is estimated that up to 12 million Americans have food allergies of one type or another and the prevalence is rising. Six to eight percent of children have food allergies and two percent of adults have them. The most common food allergies in adults are shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame seeds, fish, and eggs, and the most common food allergies present in children are milk, eggs, and peanuts.

At this time, there is no cure for food allergies. Treatment consists of avoidance diets, where the allergic person avoids any and all forms of the food to which they are allergic. For people who are extremely sensitive, this may involve the total avoidance of any exposure with the allergen, including touching or inhaling the problematic food as well as any surfaces that may have come into contact with it. Food allergy is distinct from food intolerance, which is not caused by an immune reaction.

Persons diagnosed with a food allergy may carry an auto injector of epinephrine such as an EpiPen or Twinject, wear some form of medical alert jewelry, or develop an emergency action plan, in accordance with their doctor.

Cross contamination in the kitchen can be the cause of severe reactions, even death, in some people sensitive to different foods. Ingredients in packaged foods need to be carefully analyzed by chefs before being utilized in meals for food sensitive individuals.

 

Celiac Disease (Gluten)

Celiac disease, or "celiac sprue," is a permanent adverse reaction to gluten. Those with celiac disease will not lose their sensitivity to this substance. This disease requires a lifelong restriction of gluten.

The major grains that contain gluten are wheat, rye, oats, and barley. People with celiac disease must strictly avoid these grains and their by-products.

 

Celiac disease is a disease of the small intestine. The small intestine is a 22-foot long tube that begins at the stomach and ends at the large intestine (colon). The first 1-1/2 feet of the small intestine (the part that is attached to the stomach) is called the duodenum, the middle part is called the jejunum, and the last part (the part that is attached to the colon) is called the ileum. Food empties from the stomach into the small intestine where it is digested and absorbed into the body. While food is being digested and absorbed, it is transported by the small intestine to the colon. What enters the colon is primarily undigested food. In celiac disease, there is an immunological (allergic) reaction within the inner lining of the small intestine to proteins (gluten) that are present in wheat, rye, and barley and, to a lesser extent, in oats. The immunological reaction causes inflammation that destroys the lining of the small intestine. This reduces the absorption of dietary nutrients and can lead to symptoms and signs of nutritional, vitamin, and mineral deficiencies. Other names for celiac disease include sprue, non-tropical sprue, gluten enteropathy, and adult celiac disease. (Tropical sprue is another disease of the small intestine that occurs in tropical climates. Although tropical sprue may cause symptoms that are similar to celiac disease, the two diseases are not related.)

A recent study in the United States suggests that the prevalence of celiac disease in the United States is similar to Europe with as many as 1 out of 133 persons may have it. Current research also indicates there may be links between celiac and Alzheimer's disease, Lupus, and Parkinson's'.

 

Gluten from wheat, rye, barley and oats is found in many forms and chefs need to be aware of them. Chemical and food additives are often made from these grains. Cross contamination is a major issue for those suffering from celiac.

 

A few foods and additives to be avoided by celiac patients:

Bread

Soy sauce (unless marked gluten free)

Ponzu, teriyaki, oyster sauces. (Unless marked gluten free)

Modified food starch

Vegetable protein

Hydrolyzed vegetable protein

Pasta - all types made from semolina flour

Spelt

Kamut

Coucous

Malt

Graham Flour

Edible Starch

Blue Cheese

Brewers Yeast

Dextrimaltose

Fu

Stearyldimoniumhydroxypropyl

Suet in Packets

Tabbouleh

Germamidopropyldimonium Hydroxypropyl

Surimi - fish cake

Some processed cheeses, ice cream, rice or soy milk and spices also contain wheat.

 

*Stock cubes (bullion)

*Caramel

*Soba

*Mustard powder

 

A more detailed list can be found at:

http://www.celiac.com/articles/182/1/Unsafe-Gluten-Free-Food-List-Unsafe-Ingredients/Page1.html

 

* Some manufacturers make gluten free products. In all cases the ingredients list needs to be carefully checked.

 

Cross contamination from utensils, grills, pans, oil, toasters can cause severe pain and problems for celiac patients.  This is often a problem on buffet lines where people often use the same tongs to pick up a pancake and bacon in the next tray. Small crumbs can cause the same sever reactions.

 

Wheat

 

Wheat-allergic people have an IgE-mediated response to wheat protein. These individuals must only avoid wheat. Most wheat-allergic children outgrow the allergy.

Are kamut and spelt safe alternatives to wheat? 
 No. Kamut is a cereal grain, which is related to wheat. Spelt is ancient wheat that has recently been marketed as safe for wheat-allergic individuals. This claim is untrue, however. Wheat-allergic patients can react as readily to spelt as they do to common wheat.

 

Read labels carefully.  Hot dogs and ice cream can contain wheat. It is listed on the label.

Some types of imitation crabmeat contain wheat.

Wheat flour is sometimes flavored and shaped to look like beef, pork, and shrimp, especially in Asian dishes.

 

See the celiac list for wheat items to be avoided. For example, shoyu or soy sauce is usually made mostly of wheat.

 

 

Peanut - Tree nuts

Peanut allergy is a type of food allergy, distinct from nut allergies. It is a hypersensitivity to dietary substances from peanuts causing an overreaction of the immune system, which may lead to severe physical symptoms for millions of people. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America estimates that the majority of pediatric and adult food allergy patients have a peanut allergy. Prevalence among adults and children is similar (around 1%) but at least one study shows it to be on the rise in children. 25% of children with a peanut allergy grow out of it. It is usually treated with an exclusion diet and vigilant avoidance of foods that may be contaminated with whole peanuts or peanut particles and/or oils. The most severe peanut allergies can result in anaphylaxis and is an emergency situation requiring immediate attention and treatment with epinephrine. The allergy can be triggered by a mere 1/1000 of a peanut.

 

Nut allergy is a type of food allergy. It is a hypersensitivity to dietary substances from tree nuts causing an overreaction of the immune system, which may lead to severe physical symptoms for millions of people. Nut allergy is slightly different than peanut allergy inasmuch as the types of nuts that cause the allergic reactions are not the same. Peanuts are considered legumes whereas tree nuts are considered dry fruits. The symptoms of peanut allergy and nut allergy are the same, but a person with peanut allergies may not necessarily also be allergic to tree nuts, and vice versa. Some peanut allergies in Caucasians are reversible with weight gain.

Nut allergies occur mainly, but not exclusively, in children. They are usually treated with an exclusion diet and vigilant avoidance of foods that may be contaminated with tree nuts or nut particles and/or oils. The most severe nut allergy reaction is called anaphylaxis and is an emergency situation requiring immediate attention and treatment with epinephrine.

 

Hidden Sources of Peanuts/Nuts

Artificial nuts can be peanuts that have been deflavored and reflavored with a nut, such as pecan or walnut.

Mandelonas are peanuts soaked in almond flavoring.

Arachis oil is peanut oil.

African, Chinese, Indonesian, Mexican, Thai, and Vietnamese dishes often contain peanuts or are contaminated with peanuts during the preparation process. Additionally, foods sold in bakeries and ice cream shops are often in contact with peanuts.

Many brands of sunflower seeds are produced on equipment shared with peanuts.

Mortadella may contain pistachios.

Tree nuts have been used in many foods, including barbecue sauce, cereals, crackers, and ice cream.

 

Fish - Shellfish - Shrimp

Seafood allergy is a type of food allergy. It is a hypersensitivity to dietary substances from shellfish, scaly fish, or crustaceans, causing an overreaction of the immune system that may lead to severe physical symptoms for millions of people. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America estimates that the majority of pediatric and adult food allergy patients have a seafood allergy. It occurs mainly, but not exclusively, in children. It is usually treated with an exclusion diet and vigilant avoidance of foods that may be contaminated with shellfish or fish ingredients and/or oils. The most severe seafood allergy reaction is called anaphylaxis and is an emergency situation requiring immediate attention and treatment with Epinephrine. It is generally recommended that individuals, who have had an allergic reaction to one species of fish, or positive skin tests to fish, avoid all fish. The same rule applies to shellfish. 

 

Some Hidden Sources of Fish

Caponata, a traditional sweet-and-sour Sicilian relish, can contain anchovies.

Caesar salad dressings and steak or Worcestershire sauce often contain anchovies.

Surimi (imitation crabmeat) contains fish (and wheat).

 

Milk, Cassin, Lactose  & Whey

Milk allergy is an immunologically mediated adverse reaction to one or more cow's milk proteins. In some people the ingestion of cow's milk can trigger the body into launching an inappropriate immune response to the proteins in milk resulting in an allergic reaction.

The principal symptoms are gastrointestinal, dermatological and respiratory. These can translate to: skin rash, hives, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation and distress. The clinical spectrum extends to diverse disorders: anaphylactic reactions, atopic dermatitis, wheeze, infantile colic, gastroesophageal reflux (GER), oesophagitis, allergic colitis and constipation.

The symptoms may occur within a few minutes after exposure in immediate reactions, or after hours (and in some cases after several days) in delayed reactions.

 

Milk allergy is a food allergy, an adverse immune reaction to a food protein that is normally harmless to the non-allergic individual. Lactose intolerance is a non-allergic food hypersensitivity, and comes from a lack of production of the enzyme lactase, required to digest the predominant sugar in milk. It should be noted that lactose intolerance is not actually a disease or malady, but merely the standard condition of 70% of the world's population.

 

Milk protein intolerance (MPI) is delayed reaction to a food protein that is normally harmless to the non-allergic, non-intolerant individual. Milk protein intolerance produces a non-IgE antibody and is not detected by allergy blood tests. Milk protein intolerance produces a range of symptoms very similar to milk allergy symptoms, but can also include blood and/or mucous in the stool. Treatment for milk protein intolerance is the same as for milk allergy. Milk protein intolerance is also referred to as milk soy protein intolerance (MSPI).

 

Lactose intolerance is an inability to digest and absorb lactose (the sugar in milk) that results in gastrointestinal symptoms when milk or products containing milk are drunk or eaten.

 

What causes lactose intolerance?

Lactose is a larger sugar that is made up of two smaller sugars, glucose and galactose. In order for lactose to be absorbed from the intestine and into the body, it must first be split into glucose and galactose. The cells lining the small intestine then absorb the glucose and galactose. The enzyme that splits lactose into glucose and galactose is called lactase, and it is located on the surface of the cells that line the small intestine.

Lactose intolerance is caused by reduced or absent activity of lactase that prevents the splitting of lactose (lactase deficiency). Lactase deficiency may occur for one of three reasons, congenital, secondary or developmental.

 

Whey is the liquid part of milk, everything that is left over when curds form during cheese making. Whey is what used to be called a waste product, and was dumped by the ton. A chemical analysis of whey would show that it retains most of milkÕs minerals and water-soluble vitamins, along with the bulk of the milkÕs sugar. Whey therefore is sweet, health-packed, relatively fat-free, and cheap.

Once manufacturers discovered that they could give their products that good milky taste and feel at a fraction of the cost of whole milk, they started using whey in everything. Whey is in the vast majority of cookies, and can be found in uncountable numbers of frozen foods, cold cuts, salad dressings, and canned soups. There are many categories of supermarket foods in which it is difficult to find a product that does not use whey. Natural food store items are much less likely to use whey.

Liquid whey is mostly water, and so contains about the same lactose content as whole milk. Almost all whey used in commercial food products is powdered. And whey powder is two-thirds or more lactose.

 

What are the sources of lactose in the diet? 

Although milk and foods made from milk are the only natural sources of lactose; lactose often is "hidden" in prepared foods to which it has been added. People with very low tolerance for lactose should know about the many food products that may contain lactose, even in small amounts.

 

Some Hidden Sources of Milk

Deli meat slicers are frequently used for both meat and cheese products.

Some brands of canned tuna fish contain casein, a milk protein.

Many non-dairy products contain casein (a milk derivative), listed on the ingredient labels.

Some meats may contain casein as a binder. Check all labels carefully.

Many restaurants put butter on steaks after they have been grilled to add extra flavor. The butter is not visible after it melts.

 

Food products that may contain lactose include:

Bread and other baked goods

Processed breakfast cereals

Instant potatoes, soups, and breakfast drinks

Margarine

Lunch meats (except those that are kosher)

Salad dressings

Candies and other snacks

Mixes for pancakes, biscuits, and cookies

 

Some products labeled nondairy, such as powdered coffee creamer and whipped toppings, also may include ingredients that are derived from milk and, therefore, contain lactose.

Learn to read food labels with care, looking not only for milk and lactose among the contents but also for such words as whey, curds, milk by-products, dry milk solids, and nonfat dry milk powder. If any of these are listed on a label, the item contains lactose.

In addition to food sources, lactose can be "hidden" in medicines. Lactose is used as the base for more than 20% of prescription drugs and about 6% of over-the-counter drugs. Many types of birth control pills, for example, contain lactose, as do some tablets for stomach acid and gas. However, these products typically affect only people with severe lactose intolerance.

 

 

Soy

Soy allergy is a type of food allergy. "Soy allergy" (U.S.) or Soya allergy (UK) is one of the most common food allergies. It is a hypersensitivity to dietary substances from soy causing an overreaction of the immune system that may lead to severe physical symptoms for millions of people. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America estimates soy is among the nine most common food allergens for pediatric and adult food allergy patients. It is usually treated with an exclusion diet and vigilant avoidance of foods that may be contaminated with soy ingredients. The most severe food allergy reaction is called anaphylaxis and is a medical emergency requiring immediate attention and treatment with Epinephrine.

Those allergic to soy protein should always read food ingredient labels carefully and avoid any foods containing soybean, including the substances listed below. Caution should be exercised when dining at Asian restaurants or when using Asian sauces, which may contain soy.

Some people who are allergic to soy protein may have an extreme allergic reaction and go into anaphylactic shock (anaphylaxis). In cases of anaphylaxis, emergency medical personnel typically administer epinephrine (available as an auto injector, such as EpiPen) and an antihistamine such as Benadryl (diphenhydramine). In event of an allergic reaction, the victim should see a physician or immediately go to the emergency room, as anaphylaxis can be fatal if not treated immediately.

Soy allergy can also manifest itself as urticaria, rash, redness (inflammation due to immune system response) and severe itching of the skin. These symptoms can happen immediately, but may also manifest a day (or even days) after consuming soy protein.

Many fast-food restaurants commonly use soy protein in hamburger buns (soy flour) hamburger meat (soy protein) and hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP) in sauces. On their respective web sites, McDonald's, Burger King and Wendy's list soy flour as an ingredient in their hamburger buns. U.S. Nutrition Information Multi-grain breads, doughnuts, doughnut mix and pancake mix commonly contain soy flour.

Some products [for reasons having to do with national regulation of soy products] don't list soy protein or soy flour on their ingredients labels, yet they still contain soy. There are still many latent issues resolving how soy should be regulated.

Studies show that most individuals who are allergic to soy protein may be able to safely consume soybean oil (not cold pressed, expeller pressed, or extruded oil) and soy lecithin, as these products do not normally contain soy protein.

Product containing soy protein include:

Baked goods, canned tuna, cereals, crackers, infant formulas, sauces, and soups.

Some peanut butter lists soy on the label.

Edamame

Miso

Natto

Shoyu sauce

Soy (soy albumin, soy fiber, soy flour, soy grits, soy milk, soy nuts, soy sprouts)

Soya

Soybean (curd, granules)

Soybean butter

Soy protein (concentrate, isolate)

Soy sauce, tamari

Tempeh

Textured vegetable protein (TVP)

Tofu

The following food additives may contain soy protein:

Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP)

Flavoring (including natural and artificial)

Canned chicken broth

Vegetable broth, gum, and starch

Bouillon cubes (beef, chicken, vegetable, etc.)

 

Corn

Corn is a cereal grain with proteins that are similar to those in other cereal grains, such as wheat. Unlike wheat, which is a common food allergen, there are relatively few reports of allergic reactions to corn. However, the reports that do exist show reactions can be severe. These reports include anaphylaxis as a result of eating corn and corn-related foods, as well as severe reactions after exposure to cornstarch in surgical gloves.

People with an allergy to one cereal grain often show positive allergy tests to other cereal grains. However, these tests often represent false positive tests, meaning that no allergic reaction occurs with eating many of the other cereal grains.

It is important to realize, however, that a positive allergy test places a person at high risk for an allergic reaction to that food, and the food should only be eaten if directed by a physician.

Allergic reactions can occur as a result of eating both raw and cooked corn. Those with corn allergy may also react to corn pollen (typically with allergic rhinitis and/or asthma), grass pollen and cornstarch. As with other food allergies, avoidance of corn and corn-related foods is the main way to prevent future reactions.

 

All labels should be read closely for products containing corn or corn products. The following is a list of foods that may contain corn (not an exhaustive list):

Corn syrup

Corn oil

Corn meal

Cornstarch

Vegetable oil

Maize

Popcorn

Grits

Hominy

Corn sugars (dextrose, Dyno, Cerelose, Puretose, Sweetose, glucose)

Margarine

Corn chips (Tortilla chips, Fritos)

Corn fritters

Breakfast cereals (such as corn flakes)

Corn tortillas

Certain paper containers (boxes, cups, plates, milk cartons) may contain corn, and the inner surface of plastic food wrappers may be coated with cornstarch.

Use caution with the following foods, which may include sources of corn from various products, such as cornstarch, corn syrup and corn/vegetable oils:

Vegetable soup

Commercial soups

Peanut butter

Various meats (cold cuts, ham, hotdogs, sausages)

Breaded or fried foods

Cheese

Chili

Chop Suey

Chow mein

Cheese spreads

Fish sticks

Fried potatoes or fried rice (if corn oil is used)

Mixed vegetables (frozen, canned)

Succotash

Pork and beans

Creamed vegetables

Breads dusted with corn meal

Graham crackers

Baking mixes

Pancakes (certain mixes)

Pancake syrups

English muffins

Tacos

Tamales

Polenta

Gravy (thickened with corn starch, for instance)

Salad dressings

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

Lemonade

Instant coffees

Powdered sugar

Jams and jellies

Candies

Catsup

Chewing gums

Sauces

White distilled vinegar

Monosodium glutamate

Baking powder

Cake yeast

Bleached flour

Gelatin capsules

Adhesives (envelopes, stickers, stamps)

Toothpastes

Vitamin preparations

 

 

Lactose, Milk  & Whey

 

Lactose intolerance is an inability to digest and absorb lactose (the sugar in milk) that results in gastrointestinal symptoms when milk or products containing milk are drunk or eaten.

What causes lactose intolerance?

Lactose is a larger sugar that is made up of two smaller sugars, glucose and galactose. In order for lactose to be absorbed from the intestine and into the body, it must first be split into glucose and galactose. The cells lining the small intestine then absorb the glucose and galactose. The enzyme that splits lactose into glucose and galactose is called lactase, and it is located on the surface of the cells that line the small intestine.

Lactose intolerance is caused by reduced or absent activity of lactase that prevents the splitting of lactose (lactase deficiency). Lactase deficiency may occur for one of three reasons, congenital, secondary or developmental.

 

Whey is the liquid part of milk, everything that is left over when curds form during cheese making. Whey is what used to be called a waste product, and was dumped by the ton. A chemical analysis of whey would show that it retains most of milkÕs minerals and water-soluble vitamins, along with the bulk of the milkÕs sugar. Whey therefore is sweet, health-packed, relatively fat-free, and cheap.

Once manufacturers discovered that they could give their products that good milky taste and feel at a fraction of the cost of whole milk, they started using whey in everything. Whey is in the vast majority of cookies, and can be found in uncountable numbers of frozen foods, cold cuts, salad dressings, and canned soups. There are many categories of supermarket foods in which it is difficult to find a product that does not use whey. Natural food store items are much less likely to use whey.

Liquid whey is mostly water, and so contains about the same lactose content as whole milk. Almost all whey used in commercial food products is powdered. And whey powder is two-thirds or more lactose.

 

What are the sources of lactose in the diet? 

Although milk and foods made from milk are the only natural sources of lactose; lactose often is "hidden" in prepared foods to which it has been added. People with very low tolerance for lactose should know about the many food products that may contain lactose, even in small amounts. Food products that may contain lactose include:

 

Bread and other baked goods

Processed breakfast cereals

Instant potatoes, soups, and breakfast drinks

Margarine

Lunch meats (except those that are kosher)

Salad dressings

Candies and other snacks

Mixes for pancakes, biscuits, and cookies

Some products labeled nondairy, such as powdered coffee creamer and whipped toppings, also may include ingredients that are derived from milk and, therefore, contain lactose.

Smart shoppers learn to read food labels with care, looking not only for milk and lactose among the contents but also for such words as whey, curds, milk by-products, dry milk solids, and nonfat dry milk powder. If any of these are listed on a label, the item contains lactose.

In addition to food sources, lactose can be "hidden" in medicines. Lactose is used as the base for more than 20% of prescription drugs and about 6% of over-the-counter drugs. Many types of birth control pills, for example, contain lactose, as do some tablets for stomach acid and gas. However, these products typically affect only people with severe lactose intolerance.

 

Egg

Egg allergy is a type of food allergy. It is a hypersensitivity to dietary substances from the yolk or whites of eggs, causing an overreaction of the immune system that may lead to severe physical symptoms for millions of people in the United States.[1]. It occurs mainly, but not exclusively, in children. It is usually treated with an exclusion diet and vigilant avoidance of foods that may be contaminated with egg. The most severe food allergy reaction is called anaphylaxis[2] and is an emergency situation requiring immediate attention and treatment with Epinephrine. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America estimates that most children outgrow egg allergy by the age of five, but some people remain allergic for a lifetime[3].

 

Some Hidden Sources of Egg

Eggs have been used to create the foam or milk topping on specialty coffee drinks and are used in some bar drinks.

Some commercial brands of egg substitutes contain egg whites.

Most commercially processed cooked pastas (including those used in prepared foods such as soup) contain egg or are processed on equipment shared with egg-containing pastas. Boxed, dry pastas are usually egg-free, but may be processed on equipment that is also used for egg-containing products. Fresh pasta is sometimes egg-free, too. Read the label or ask about ingredients before eating pasta.

 

 

Nightshades

Allergies to certain foods appear linked to rheumatoid arthritis, particularly those in the nightshade family of plants: Brinjal, Cayenne, Capsicum, Eggplant, Ground Cherry, Banana Pepper, Bell Pepper, Chili Pepper, Green Pepper, Red Pepper, Sweet Pepper, Paprika, Pimento, Potato, Tabasco, Thorn Apple, Tobacco, Tomato.

An allergy to tomato is rare and the worst parts of the plant for causing an allergic reaction seem to be the seeds, skin and juice. Some patients can ingest process tomato products such as tomato paste with little or no reaction yet develop severe symptoms with fresh tomatoes.

 

Citrus

 

Citric acid intolerance is not the same as citrus allergy. Citrus allergy sufferers respond to substances specific to citrus fruits such as limonene or specific proteins found in the fruits, whereas citric acid intolerant people react only to citric acid, which is found in a number of fruits and even some vegetables, and is used as a food additive.

Citric acid intolerance is not a "true" food allergy - that is, it's not an autoimmune response to a chemical in food. Intolerances occur when the body lacks some chemical or enzyme necessary for it to properly digest a particular substance

 

Geographic tongue, also known as benign migratory glossitis, erythema migrans, or continental tongue, is a condition affecting the tongue. The colloquial names are due to the condition resembling a map. The topside of the tongue is covered in small protrusions called papillae. In a tongue affected by geographic tongue, there are red patches on the surface of the tongue bordered by grayish white. The papillae are missing from the reddish areas and overcrowded in the grayish white borders. The small patches may disappear and reappear in a short period of time (hours or days), and change in shape or size. While it is not common for the condition to cause pain, it may cause a burning or stinging sensation, especially after contact with certain foods, such as spicy or citrus foods. Chemicals, such as mouthwashes and teeth whiteners, can also aggravate the condition. Geographic tongue may also cause numbness. Co-existence of fissures of the tongue is often noticed.

 

Contact with citrus peel can also cause a reaction in some people.

 

Rice

A rice allergy is a potentially deadly response by a personÕs immune system to rice or foods containing rice. After a susceptible person ingests rice, the immune system reacts with the release of histamines and other chemicals that trigger symptoms that can range from mild to life–threatening. While somewhat rare in the United States, rice allergy still affects a small portion of the population.

The low incidence of rice allergy in the United States has given rise to the myth that rice is a hypoallergenic food that will not cause allergies. In fact, rice allergy is not unusual in Japan and other nations where rice is a staple food. Rice pollen also causes allergies when inhaled, and the symptoms mimic those of hay fever.

There is no way to know whether a person with a rice allergy is likely to have a mild or severe reaction after eating rice products. Symptoms that begin as mild to moderate can quickly intensify and lead to potentially life–threatening anaphylactic shock. Therefore, those with this allergy must avoid the grain altogether. There are several foods that can serve as substitutes for rice. A person with a rice allergy who accidentally consumes rice must seek immediate medical attention.

 

Carrageenan allergy

Should carrageenan be avoided by a fish- or shellfish-allergic individual? 
Carrageenan is not fish. Carrageenan, or "Irish moss," is a red marine algae. This food product is used in a wide variety of foods, particularly dairy foods, as an emulsifier, stabilizer, and thickener. 

 

Carrageenan has been linked to toxic hazards, including ulcers and cancer; In addition to suppressing immune function, carrageenan can cause intestinal ulcers and inflammatory bowel disease in animals and some research indicates that carrageenan is associated with causing cancer in humans.

 

Iodine allergy

An iodine allergy would be an immediate response to iodine on the skin or iodine injected in a contrast dye to take better X-rays. In general such exposure would cause immediate anaphylactic shock in those who are allergic. A patient might show very labored breathing and the tongue or throat might swell. Treatment is an injection with epinephrine to stop the histamine reaction.

An actual iodine allergy is extraordinarily rare. Some show signs of sensitivity to iodine with nausea, flushing, fever, or some labored breathing. In most cases, this sensitivity, particularly to injected iodine is labeled iodine allergy. This however, is something of a misnomer. Very few are actually allergic to iodine.

 

One of the reasons people feel they may have an iodine allergy is if they are allergic to shellfish or simply fish. Both shellfish and other fishes are a rich source of iodine, but often those allergic are not responding to the iodine in the fish.

However, if one has a shellfish allergy, or any allergy for that matter, there is a slightly increased risk of Òiodine allergy.Ó As compared to the person without an allergy to shellfish, people allergic to shellfish may show about a five percent greater chance of showing Òiodine allergyÓ symptoms. However similar studies show that having any allergies

 

Celery allergy

Celery is one of the most common foods to cause oral allergy syndrome in adults in countries such as Switzerland, France and Germany. Allergy to celeriac (the celery root) is more common than to celery (the stalks of the plant), but both can sometimes cause severe reactions. Symptoms vary from mild ones, such as oral allergy syndrome, to anaphylactic shock. Some reports suggest that celery spice is as likely to cause a reaction in sensitive people as raw celery. Since November 2005, food-labeling rules require pre-packed food sold in the UK, and the rest of the European Union, to show clearly on the label if it contains celery. 


 

Coconut allergy

Coconut allergy is rare, but it can cause reactions (including anaphylaxis) in people who are sensitive. 
A small number of people who are allergic to nuts also react to coconut. Some people who are allergic to latex may react to coconut too. 


 

Latex-food syndrome

Latex allergy is caused by a reaction to a number of allergens found in natural rubber or latex. In recent years, the number of people with latex allergy has increased, particularly among healthcare workers and people with spina bifida, because they come into contact with lots of latex products. Latex contains many allergens that are similar to the allergens in some foods, so people who are allergic to latex might also find they react to foods such as apple, avocado, banana, carrot, celery, cherry, chestnut, coconut, kiwi, mango, paprika, and strawberry. This is called latex-food syndrome. In the same way, people who are allergic to these foods may also react to latex. 

 People with a latex allergy should be tested for allergies to foods that are linked to latex-food syndrome. 

 Some initial research has suggested that small amounts of latex could be transferred to food from gloves used by food handlers, or from some packaging or labels. 

 

Some people have a strong reaction to natural latex in some tropical fruit like abiu, chico, fig and jackfruit.

 

Fruit and vegetable allergy

Allergic reactions to fruit and vegetables are usually mild and often just affect the mouth, causing itching, a rash, or blisters where the food touches the lips and mouth. This is called oral allergy syndrome. 

 A number of people who react in this way to fruit or vegetables will also react to pollen from some trees and weeds. So, for example, people who are allergic to birch pollen are also likely to be allergic to apples. 

 Generally, cooking fruit and vegetables make them less likely to cause an allergic reaction. Pasteurization and other heat treatments (which are used, for example, on fruit juices) have the same effect. However, this is not the case for all fruit and vegetables. For example, cooking celery doesn't make it less likely to cause a reaction. 

 How ripe a fruit or vegetable is can also make a difference. For example, tomatoes are more likely to cause an allergic reaction the riper they are. 


 

Sesame allergy

Sesame allergy is increasing, which might be because sesame is being used more. 
 Sesame seeds, sesame oil and other sesame products, such as tahini and humus, are used in cooking, for example in Turkish or oriental dishes, and in food products such as bread, biscuits, salads and sauces. Sesame allergy can cause severe reactions including anaphylaxis. People with sesame allergy might also react to poppy seeds, kiwi fruit, hazelnuts and rye. People who are allergic to sesame should avoid sesame oil. This is because it's made by cold-pressing sesame seeds and isn't refined, so it can contain small amounts of proteins, which can cause a reaction in people who are sensitive. 
 Since November 2005, food-labeling rules require pre-packed food sold in the UK, and the rest of the European Union, to show clearly on the label if it contains sesame seeds or if one of its ingredients contains them. 

 

Vegetable oil allergy

 

Vegetable oil is usually a blend of oils. In the UK, the oils used most in vegetable oil are soya, rapeseed, sunflower, maize and palm kernel oils. Where they appear in pre-packed food, these oils will have been refined. The refining process removes almost all of the proteins from the oil. 

 Since it is the proteins in oils that can cause allergic reactions, sensitive people probably won't react to refined oils. Some specialty oils, such as sesame and walnut, aren't refined, so they are best avoided by people who are sensitive to the nuts or seeds they are made from.

 

Meat allergy

 

People with an allergy to meat may react to just one type, such as pork, beef, lamb or chicken, or they may react to a range of types. The most common symptom of meat allergy is dermatitis (an allergic skin reaction). Cooking destroys some of the allergens in meat, but some people will still react to cooked meat. 

 Processed meat products, such as frankfurters, luncheon meats and pates, sometimes contain other ingredients, particularly milk products, so it's possible for someone who is allergic to milk to react to a meat product because it contains milk. For example, milk is sometimes used in chicken nuggets to stick the breadcrumbs to the chicken pieces. 


 

 

Resources:

http://www.foodallergy.org

http://www.medicinenet.com/celiac_disease/article.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org

http://allergies.about.com

http://allergy.health.ivillage.com/foodallergyintolerance/riceallergy.cfm

http://www.eatwell.gov.uk

http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/stevecarper/AHC0699.htm

http://health.discovery.com/centers/allergyasthma/foodallergy/food.html

http://www.peanutallergy.com/

http://www.glutenfreeforum.com/

http://www.myownthoughts.com/?p=2262

http://www.angelfire.com/ca/traute/allergies.html

http://www.celiac.com/

http://www3.niaid.nih.gov/about/organization/dait/PDF/june30_2003.pdf

http://www.allergyhospital.co.uk/food_allergy_for_public.htm

http://www.calgaryallergy.ca/articles/english/botanical.htm

http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~vclarke/citric.html

http://hubpages.com/hub/Cross-Reactions-Of-Allergies