Allergy Labels For Milk Can Be Confusing

I have a well-worn paper I carry in my wallet. It lists food ingredients that DO NOT contain milk, but sound like they are milk based. I refer to it often as I still find myself questioning things like "potassium lactate" (sure sounds like a milk product, doesn't it?). In case you're feeling confused by this as well, here's the list I typed up years ago. I believe I originally got it from FAAN:
  • Calcium lactate
  • Calcuium stearoyl lactylate
  • Cocoa butter
  • Cream of tartar
  • Lactic acid (although, lactic acid starter culture may contain lactose)
  • Oleoresin 
  • Potassium lactate
  • Sodium lactate
  • Sodium stearoyl lactylate

None of the ingredients above contain milk protein and those with milk/dairy allergy do not need to avoid any of these ingredients. If you need a more comprehensive list, pop on over to Go Dairy Free where Alisa Fleming offers more details on this subject.
While I'm on the subject, there are several other misconceptions about some common foods:
  • Coconut- is not a nut, but a fruit
  • Nutmeg- does not contain nuts
  • Water Chestnuts- are not in the nut family.
As always, check with your allergist if you have any questions about any of these ingredients and their safety for you.


kidsallergies-goingmilkfree said...

This is a great list. Thanks for posting. I also find myself looking up these ingredients over and over. Great idea to keep the list handy.

Libby said...

What an excellent list! Every time I post a recipe using either coconut milk/oil or nutmeg, I find myself answering the same question again. Maybe you could forward this info to the FDA, which decided to add coconuts to its list of tree nuts a few years back?

S said...

Here's the thing...coconut was included in my daughter's tree nut allergy testing. So what's up with that? I never thought of it as an official "nut." But after the testing I decided that I must have been mistaken until yesterday when I read that it is, in fact, a fruit. So aside from the "nut" in coconut, maybe that's where some of the confusion could be coming from.

Maybe there is some sort of similarity between coconuts and tree nuts.

Oh here we go, I just found this on FAAN:

"Coconut, the seed of a drupaceous fruit, has typically not been restricted in the diets of people with tree nut allergy. However, in October of 2006, the FDA began identifying coconut as a tree nut. The available medical literature contains documentation of a small number of allergic reactions to coconut; most occurred in people who were not allergic to other tree nuts."

Who knows...this whole food allergy thing is still quite a mystery to me.

Unknown said...

Thanks "S" for your comments about the mysterious coconut. I too saw the statement from FAAN. It seems there is much cross-over between tree fruits and tree nuts. Almonds are in the plum family, but they are routinely included in the tree nut category.

I've been at this for over 10 years and food allergy still remains a mystery in many ways to me too.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great list. We are gluten and dairy free, which doesn't leave many choices. I hate to omit foods - "Just in case...".