White vs dark chocolate...difference???

5 replies [Last post]
By bakermom on Thu, 12-16-99, 21:04

Can someone help, I have ??s regarding chocolate. No one told us that regular chocolate is often contaminated with peanuts. I gave my son a tiny taste of chocolate and he broke out in hives, so I assumed he was allergic to chocolate. For THREE YEARS this has been my opinion. He has had white chocolate on occasion without any problems. I thought this was odd, but thought he was allergic to the cocoa in chocolate. This could still be true, BUT does anyone know if a child is allergic to regular chocolate if he will also be allergic to white chocolate? I would really like to get this child a treat from Santa. As you all know many of the companies are putting "may contain traces of peanuts" on EVERYTHING to cover their backs. This is severly limiting what I can buy for my son, no eggs, no peanuts, no chocolate. I bake, but I really don't want to open a candy factory too!
My son thinks that Santa makes all of his own treats so will make sure there are "safe" treats for him christmas morning! If I have to make it myself I will. I will order from Vermont Nut, if I think he can try chocolate again. Thanks for your help! Andrea

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By Christine on Fri, 12-17-99, 12:21

From what I've heard, white "chocolate" is not really chocolate at all so you may have very good luck with that. As far as chocolate being contaminated with peanuts--yes, chocolate candies (and white chocolate candies) are easily contaminated because they are run on shared equipment most of the time. I recently contacted Hershey's and felt pretty good about their manufacturing procedures. I've been giving my son plain old Hershey bars for quite some time now and we have been doing great. I also made some fudge with Hershey's baking chips and unsweetened chocolate. You may be dealing with a sensitivity to chocolate if your son has a reaction to chocolate every time he eats it. While, cross contamination could exist, I can't imagine it is in every piece of chocolate he has tried. Go to the Hershey's website. They have a page on a chemical that is in chocolate that is actually what people are allergic/sensitive to (pheno...something or other). Read that page and see if it fits your son.

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By bakermom on Fri, 12-17-99, 14:17

thank you for the info! Actually my son had only one tiny taste, and I never gave it to him again! I'm going to look into this.


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By Christine on Fri, 12-17-99, 15:52

After I first posted, I went back to the Hershey site to review what I *thought* I had read about chocolate sensitivity. What was on there was a discussion about theobromine, which is really a problem for animals. BUT, I have read somewhere that there is a substance in chocolate that causes an allergic reaction in some. It is not the cocoa or any of the other components, but it is some chemical. If I get some time, I will look for it again. But, you could probably do a general internet search on chocolate allergy and come up with something.

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By MaryLynn on Fri, 12-17-99, 20:59

If there is a chocolate allergy, there is cocoa butter in a lot of white chocolate and many of the companies that put out white baking chocolate use nuts in it. We have been sucessful with hershey choc. chips, and nestle chocolate and white chips. Their white chips have no cocoa products listed, but you may want to call about cross contamination.

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By Donnamarie on Fri, 12-17-99, 21:47

If it turns out that your son can eat chocolate, peanutallergy.com has a link to a peanut-free plant. I just ordered from them... and they are great. They are happy to provide an ingredient list (in case your child, like mine, has other food allergies). Of course, if your son can't eat chocolate, I guess that doesn't help you (*grin*). We often substitute small toys or crayons for candy... my son never gets candy, so he isn't disappointed; or health food grocery stores often have safe candy alternatives (natural cinnamon candies, etc). Good luck.

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