\"Trace Amounts\" what you always wanted to know................

Posted on: Tue, 04/15/2003 - 7:08am
MommaBear's picture
Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

?So what is a "Trace Amount"? In mass? Relative to the amount an item might have as an ingredient? In idea?

Posted on: Wed, 04/16/2003 - 3:10am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Are you asking our *personal opinions*? Or, do you mean what *exactly* does a company mean when they list trace amounts?

Posted on: Wed, 04/16/2003 - 3:13am
MommaBear's picture
Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by AnnaMarie:
[b]Are you asking our *personal opinions*? Or, do you mean what *exactly* does a company mean when they list trace amounts?
Any [i]persepective[/i] one can offer would be [b] much [/b] appreciated. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]
The eye of the beholder offers much insight.

Posted on: Wed, 04/16/2003 - 3:39am
maggie0303's picture
Joined: 04/14/2003 - 09:00

My personal opinion is that sometimes companies find it easier to label it as "may contain" so that they don't have to face any legal issues. I guess it makes sense to be careful and label it if there are peanuts at the same manufacturing plant because of possible contamination. I have been very lucky with my daughter, as she has almost a sixth sense about whether a product contains peanuts or not. She has had "may contain" products in the past with no problems and other products she will smell it and feel that it does contain.

Posted on: Wed, 04/16/2003 - 10:11am
Corvallis Mom's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

I am thinking that this is probably based on our individual situations, since what each of us is likely to consider "trace amounts" is likely to be what causes a noticable but non-severe reaction with a minimal ingestion.
Operating with that assumption, many of us here react to "peanut oil," yes? Hot-processed pn oil contains between 2-20 parts per million (or micrograms of pn per gram of oil) of peanut protein. (By the most conservative scientific evidence, this would likely require the ingestion of at least 2-8 mL to exceed a low reaction threshold.)
This is considered trace, in my opinion. I strongly suspect that this is also about like many "processed in a facility" foods. "May contains" can contain much more, of course, but sometimes contain less- since this is based on cleaning protocols and usually doesn't involve a constant deposition of pn dust from a neighboring production line.
Most chemists would consider any amount less than about 100 ppm ( parts per million) to be "trace"...
Hope this is what you meant.

Posted on: Wed, 04/16/2003 - 10:22pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

I *personally* consider trace amounts to mean that a product/ingredient has been in contact with or run on the same line as a peanut containg product. (Assuming we are talking about trace amounts of peanuts.) Now, this is definitely NOT the criteria used by all companies.
Now, there is a separate question what does "May contain" mean. That one is trickier. I consider "May contain trace amounts" to mean it may have run on the same line or otherwise been in contact with, but not all companies feel that way.
One cereal company I contacted said that their box would say "May contain trace amounts of peanuts" if the farmer they got their corn from also had a peanut field because if the farmer walked from the peanut field into the corn field he could leave trace amounts. Yet a different company only lists if peanuts are actually an added ingredient. They do not release info about what plants or lines contain peanuts. Quite a difference.
My own personal safety zone is somewhere in the middle, but of the two companies I like the first company.

Posted on: Wed, 04/16/2003 - 10:57pm
e-mom's picture
Joined: 04/23/2000 - 09:00

I agree with what has already been said.
Maggie0303, just curious, what "may contain" foods has your daughter had?

Posted on: Wed, 04/16/2003 - 11:13pm
MommaBear's picture
Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Corvallis Mom:
Hope this is what you meant.[/b]
Actually, I find [i]all[/i] the responses helpful.

Posted on: Wed, 04/16/2003 - 11:20pm
MommaBear's picture
Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by AnnaMarie:
Now, there is a separate question what does "May contain" mean. [/b]
[i]Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.[/i] [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
[b] It would be great if you could post it. [/b] [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] Want that I should post What does "Manufactured in the same facility that processes Peanuts/Nuts" mean to you?
"Launch Hand Grenade!"

Posted on: Thu, 04/17/2003 - 3:37am
mom2cuties's picture
Joined: 02/21/2002 - 09:00

I agree with maggie, I *personally* think that companies use *may contain* to save thier a** [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

Posted on: Thu, 04/17/2003 - 4:07am
arachide's picture
Joined: 08/16/2000 - 09:00

This was information I got from these boards a long time ago. Unfortunately I was never able to verify it's validity. Perhaps those of you better experienced with researching studies could find it.
I cannot vouch for the accuracy of this:
Here is information concerning the use of "may contain..." on food labels. This study was conducted by LM Niemann, JJ Hylwka, and SL Hefle. It was presented at the 2000 AAAAI meeting:
[list][*][b][/*:m][*]18.2% (4 of 22) "may contain peanut" contained traces of peanut.[/*:m][*]12.5% (2 of 16) "manufactured on shared equipment" contained traces of peanut.[/*:m][*]20.8% (5 of 24) where peanut was listed at the end of ingredient list contained traces of peanut.
Peanut present was measured at concentrations from 1 to 2500 parts per million[/*:m][/list:u][/b]


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