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What are the main allergens?

Allergens

An allergen is substance that causes the immune system to over-react, or to react inappropriately to something harmless.


Foods - peanuts, other nuts, eggs, cow's milk, cheese, soya (milk and bean), seafood, yeast (baker's and brewer's), wheat, rye, barley, oats, strawberries, melons, tomatoes, potatoes, coffee, tea, chocolate, grapes, oranges, mushrooms, sugar.

Pesticides on food and in the air, artificial preservatives, additives and colourings in food and drink.

Pollen from grasses, flowers and trees.

Exhaust fumes, chemicals from carpets and upholstered furniture, spirit-based paints and varnishes, chemicals used in the manufacture of plastics that leach out during use.

House dust mite excretions.

Dander, feathers and hair from animals.

Mercury and silver from tooth fillings, and other metals.

Mould spores in the air and on old foods, e.g. peanuts, flour.

Candida Albicans - a yeast that lives in the gut of many people.

 

Less obvious allergens

Beware the hidden dangers in packaged food!
Sometimes it can be hard to know exactly what ingredients are in a package of processed food, for example, the word lactose may not be instantly recognisable as milk.

Below are some guidelines of what to look out for, but this is not a complete list. If in doubt, enquire of the manufacturers, or avoid the food.

FOOD ALSO KNOWN AS:
WHEAT bran, enriched flour, farina, gluten, graham flour, high gluten flour, high protein flour, wheat bran, wheat germ, wheat starch, wholewheat flour, gelatinised starch, modified food starch, modified starch, starch, vegetable gum, vegetable starch.
MILK butter, artificial butter flavour, butterfat, buttermilk, casein, caseinates, cheese, cream, curds, dry milk solids, lactalbumin, lactose, milk derivative, milk protein, milk solids, rennet casein, sour cream, whey, yogurt, caramel colour, caramel flavouring, high protein flour, margarine, natural flavouring. Milk solids are sometimes used to spray the flavourings on to crisps.
EGG albumin, mayonnaise, ovalbumin, ovomucin, ovomucoid, Simplesse, a shiny glaze on baked goods may indicate the presence of egg.
PEANUT cold pressed peanut oil, mixed nuts, peanut butter, peanut flour, groundnut oil, May be present in chilli, sweets, Chinese and Thai meals, egg rolls, marzipan, soup
SOYA cold pressed peanut oil, mixed nuts, peanut butter, peanut flour, groundnut oil. May be present in chilli, sweets, Chinese and Thai meals, egg rolls, marzipan, soup