Ingedients: terms to be aware of?

Posted on: Tue, 06/15/2010 - 6:02am
Ben_mom's picture
Joined: 06/09/2010 - 06:33

I am new to reading ingredients on labels for my PA son. I don't understand what half the things are in foods. Are there any terms to be aware of that are associated with peanuts/traces of peanuts? Looking for some tips, advice, way to quicken the process of all the labels I have to read.

Posted on: Thu, 06/17/2010 - 11:16am
mom on a mission's picture
Joined: 08/27/2009 - 18:26

I think reading labels is one of the most frustrating aspects of having a food allergy. Other than the fact that the Top 8 allergens have to be listed in terms that can be understood, there really is no other industry standard. It's nice when a food manufacturer uses a "May Contains" statement, but that is not required by law so you still need to read through the ingredient list.
Many people with life-threatening allergies choose to also not eat any food either manufactured using the same equipment or in the same facility as other products processed with peanuts. Here's where some labeling regulations would really be helpful. Some companies will put peanuts/tree nuts in a "May Contains" statement if there is any chance of cross contamination. We avoid all of those products. Others will state that their product is manufactured/processed in a plant. We avoid those also. Where you have to do your research is for those products that don't label.
You can start contacting all of those companies or use the internet. This site is great for getting information regarding specific food manufacturers. I write a blog and also share information every time I contact a company regarding their labeling information.
Here's a link to a post I did not long ago regarding labeling that might get you started:
I will say that there was a blessing hidden in my daughter's peanut allergy. Because I was forced to read labels, I learned what was in the food that we were eating, and was appalled. In the last year, we've completely overhauled the foods we eat to avoid genetically modified foods, artificial sweeteners, flavors & colors, rBST, pesticides, antibiotics, etc. I've starting cooking more from scratch. Not only does that keep my daughter safe, but I hope it's an effort to help prevent cancer, heart disease, ADHD, depression, diabetes and on and on.
Good luck!

Posted on: Fri, 06/18/2010 - 3:25am
cmvervais's picture
Joined: 03/09/2010 - 16:21

FAAN has a list on their website of all the "hidden" words that could indicate the presence of peanut. I put a link below. The main ones I run across are hydrolyzed vegetable protein, natural flavors (that's in everything, so I use my judgement and call the manufacturer when in doubt), arachis oil. I can't think of the others right now, but anything that has any kind of nut I avoid. They actually use peanut to "fake" other kinds of nuts sometimes if you can believe it.

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