Food Allergies and Definitions

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It is estimated that over 300 million individuals worldwide manage special dietary needs.

Food allergies, sensitivities, autism, ADD/ADHD, diabetes, celiac/coeliac disease and other auto-immune diseases are all contributing factors to following special dietary lifestyles. Food allergies are growing increasingly more common impacting 3–4% of the world’s population.

Additionally, estimates of those with food intolerances and sensitivities range from 15–25% of the population in the US, Europe and Australia.

Anaphylaxis, which is a potential life threatening allergic reaction impacts 1% of the global population.

Celiac disease, spelled coeliac outside of North America, is one of the world’s most misdiagnosed diseases, impacting 1-2% of the population globally. Celiac / coeliac disease is a genetic auto-immune disorder reflected in a permanent intolerance to gluten, the protein found in wheat, rye and barley. It is the most misdiagnosed auto-immune disorder in the world.

Avoid Common Food Allergens & Aliases

To ensure safe eating with food allergies, you need to understand the specific allergens, aliases and various food derivatives.

The following allergens are defined below: corn, dairy and milk, eggs, fish, peanuts, sesame, shellfish, soy and tree nuts. Each allergen description outlines summary information, alternative names and derivatives – excerpted from the Let’s Eat Out! series (with the exception of sesame).

Click Here to Find Out Information about Gluten and Wheat

Learn More about Anaphylaxis

Corn, in its natural form, can be easily detected as an ingredient in many products and dishes. In some parts of the world, it is referred to as maize. Additionally, hominy is a term for corn primarily found in North America.

Dairy and Milk
Dairy products are commonly used in many ethnic cuisines and have many forms. In the case of product labels, dairy products can be represented using alternative names such as casein, caseinates, ghee, hydrolysates, lactalbumin, lactoglobulin, lactose and whey.

Dairy and Milk Allergen Card

Eggs are used in most ethic cuisines and are commonly found in commercially made food products. In the case of product labels, products derived from eggs can be represented using alternative names such as albumin (albumen), conalbumin, globulin, lecithin (from egg), livetin, lysozyme, ovalbumin, ovamucin, ovoglobulin, ovolactohydrolyze proteins, ovomacroglobulin, ovomucoid, ovotransferrin, ovovitellin, silco-albuminate and vitellin.

Egg Allergen Card from Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia

Fish is used primarily as a main ingredient in most dishes. There are also some commercially produced fish products such as fish sauces, fish oil, agar, alginic acid, disodium ionsinate, surimi, caviar and roe.

Some common fish names are: anchovy, bass, bluefish, bream, carp, catfish (channel cat, mudcat) char, chub, cisco, cod, eel, flounder, grouper, haddock, hake, halibut, herring, mackerel, mahi-mahi, marlin, monkfish (angler fish, lotte) and orange roughy.

Additional common fish name include: perch, pickerel (dore, walleye), pike, plaice, pollock, pompano, porgy, rockfish, salmon, sardine, shark, smelt, snapper, sole, sturgeon, swordfish, tilapia (St. Peter’s fish) trout, tuna (albacore, bonito), turbot, white fish and whiting.

Fish and Shellfish Allergen Card


Gluten is the protein found in wheat, rye and barley. Testing shows that most oats have gluten levels beyond the acceptable range for those following gluten-free diets due to cross-contamination in the milling process. There are numerous manufacturers around the world that produce tested and certified gluten-free oats. Unless you are eating certified gluten-free oats, it is recommended that you avoid oats when managing a gluten-free diet.

Gluten Allergen Card


Peanuts are legumes like peas or beans and are used frequently in Asian, Central and South American cuisines as well as various products. Peanut oil, also known as arachis oil in Europe, is commonly used for frying in Asian, Indian, French and French-influenced cuisines.

Other names for peanuts include: beer nuts, cacahouéte, cacahouette, cacahuéte, earth nuts, goober nuts, ground nuts, mandelonas and valencias.

Peanut Allergen Card from Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia

It should be noted that sesame is identified on all product labels in the European Union, Australia and New Zealand. However, the United States does not require sesame to be declared on product ingredient lists at the present time.

Other names for sesame seeds and dishes that may contain sesame include: benne (benne seed, benniseed), gingelly (gingilly oil), gomashio, halvah, hummus, seeds, sesamol (sesamolina), sesamum indicum, sim sim, tahina, tahini, til and vegetable oil.

Sesame Allergen Card from Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia

Shellfish are divided into two categories, crustaceans and mollusks. Some crustaceans include copepods, crab, crayfish, lobster, prawns and shrimp. Mollusks include abalone, clam, conch, escargot (snails), limpets, mussels, octopus, oysters, scallops, squid (calamari) and whelks.

Shellfish Allergen Card from Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia

Soy is a legume like peas or beans and is used frequently in Asian cuisines. In some parts of the world it is referred to as soya or soja. Other names for soy include: edamame, miso, natto, okara, shoyu, tamari, tempeh, tofu (soybean curds) and yuba. Its derivatives are contained in many commercially produced products.

Soy Allergen Card from Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia

Tree Nuts
Tree nuts are considered “true nuts” and are used in many ethnic cuisines and products. Various tree nuts from around the world include: almonds (marzipan, amaretti or almondine), beechnuts, Brazil nuts (cream nuts or para nuts), cashews, chestnuts, gevuina nut, gianduja, hazlenuts (filberts), hickory nuts, macadamia nuts (Australian nuts or Queensland nuts), pecans, pine nuts (pignoli, pinon, pinyon, Indian nuts or stone nuts), pistachios, pralines and walnuts (butternuts).