“We are seeing an alarming rise in the number of children who are allergic to several kinds of foods. Up to 25% of children who suffer from eczema now also suffer from severe food allergies.”
This is according to Mariska Fouche, Public Affairs Manager for Pharma Dynamics, one of South Africa’s leading providers of allergy medication. More and more parents are struggling to prepare food for their children as increasingly more children present with various allergies. At a recent event held in Bloemfontein where renowned food-guru Ina Paarman was the guest speaker, a desperate mother asked Paarman for advice on how she can curb her child’s dairy allergy. Her question had many mothers shaking their heads in agreement. According to Fouche, new food labelling regulations that were recently passed allows consumers to identify common allergens in foods, but warns that consumers should still be on the lookout for hidden allergens that might not be as obvious.
She gives the following advice when food shopping:
- Read the entire label and if you’re not sure of every ingredient that went into a cooked item, do not let your child eat it.
- Pay special attention to boldfaced items on the label, as well as parentheses and items listed below the complete list of ingredients.
- When looking at processed foods, check the label for a warning that the food was made in a factory where your child’s allergens may have been used on the same manufacturing lines.
- The food industry often uses alternative names for common allergens, which the average consumer might not be aware of. The higher up the list of ingredients they are found, the greater proportion they form of the food product or meal. Learn the lists of ingredients that might specify hidden food allergens – we have listed these for you below.
Egg: Albumin, binder, coagulant, emulsifier, globulin, lecithin, livetin, lysozyme, ovalbumin, ovomucin, ovomucoid, ovovittelin, vitellin.
Milk: Artificial butter flavour, butter, butter fat, buttermilk solids, caramel colour, caramel flavouring, casein, caseinate, cheese, cream curds, delactosed whey, dry milk solids, high protein flavour, lactalbumin, lactalbumin phosphate, lactose, milk derivative, milk solids, natural flavouring, rennet casein, sour cream, sour milk solids, whey, whey powder, whey protein concentrate.
Soy: Bulking agent, emulsifier, hydrolysed vegetable protein, lecithin, miso, MSG, monosodium glutamate, protein, protein extended, stabiliser, textured vegetable protein, thickener, tofu, vegetable broth, vegetable gum, vegetable starch.
Wheat: All-purpose flour, flour, bulgur, bran, cornstarch, couscous, durum wheat / flour, farina, gelatinised starch, gluten, graham flour, kamut, malt, miller’s bran, modified starch, semolina, spelt, starch, vegetable gum, vegetable starch, white flour.
For more information on allergies, please visit www.allergyexpert.co.za.
Source: Information issued by Lange 360 on behalf of Pharma Dynamics.