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Definitions For Allergen Free Food Ingredients
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Food definitions on labels vary. The FDA has guidelines, such as listing the allergens that might be present. But some small manufacturers escape this scrutiny and don't have as much information as we'd like on the label.
On your behalf, we've included what's on the labels and spoken with manufacturers for clarification. The following definitions have helped us delineate each category.
|Dairy Free||Tree Nut Free||Gluten Free||Peanut Free|
|Egg Free||Soy Free||Shellfish Free||Sesame Free|
|Potato Free||Rice Free||Wheat Free||Sugar Free|
|Yeast Free||Corn Free||No MSG|
Does not contain milk or milk byproducts such as butter, cheese, whey or cream. Dairy free also means lactose free, as lactose is usually derived from milk. (exception: Lactose derived from beets is dairy-free.)
Vegan and Kosher (Parve) products are Dairy free.
Cocoa Butter may sound like dairy but does not contain butter. It is made from the fatty part of the cocoa bean.
Some Dairy Free products contain the milk protein, casein. Manufacturers have gotten a lot better about labeling this product over the last decade, but there are no regulatory requirements. For our purposes, "Dairy Free" eliminates casein as well.
FAAN says: The following ingredients do not contain milk protein and need not be restricted by someone avoiding milk:
Does not contain any tree nuts, including nut oils or flavoring derivatives. That includes that includes almond paste and almond flavoring (often found in baked goods).
These products also do not contain coconut or coconut by products. ("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. Ask your doctor if you need to avoid coconut." FAAN)
Does not contain any peanuts, including any peanut butter, oil or flavoring derivatives.
Note that peanuts are not actually nuts; they are a legume and belong to the pea (and lentil) family. Peanut Free (severe) is NOT necessarily free of other legumes.
These products are Gluten free as defined by the FDA. The FDA has proposed to define the term "gluten-free" to mean that a food bearing this claim in its labeling does not contain any one of the following: An ingredient that is a prohibited grain or that is derived from a prohibited grain and that has not been processed to remove gluten. An ingredient that is derived from a prohibited grain and that has been processed to remove gluten, if the use of that ingredient results in the presence of 20 parts per million (ppm) or more gluten in the food or 20 ppm or more glute. (The FDA website, 7/2011)
Please note that the FDA guidelines do NOT eliminate the use of oats and oat-based products.
Does not contain any soy or most soy based derivitives, such as soy sauce, tofu, Edamame, Kouridofu, Kinako, miso, mono-diglyceride, natto, Nimame, Okara, soya, shoyu sauce, soy albumin, soy fiber, soy flour, soy grits, soy milk, soy nuts, soy sprouts, soybean (curd, granules), soybean butter, soy protein (concentrate, isolate), tamari, tempeh, textured soy flour (TSF), textured soy protein (TSP), textured vegetable protein (TVP), Yuba
Does not contain food additives that may contain soy protein: hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP), flavoring (including natural and artificial), canned chicken broth, vegetable broth, vegetable gum, vegetable starch, bouillon cubes (beef, chicken, vegetable, etc.)
Our Soy-free products also do not contain soy lecithin, which the FDA exempts from being labeled as an allergen.
Some people are more sensitive than others to minute portions of soy. Tocopherol, a soy derivative, is present in vitamin E and other products. Similarly the product does not contain glycine with unidentified ingredients or phospholipids.
Soy is a legume, just like green beans, peanuts and carob. Soy Free is NOT necessarily free of other legumes.
Does not contain any wheat products or wheat derivatives. Wheat is often hidden in condiments and sauces as a thickener, and is in gelatinized starch, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, modified food starch, modified starch, natural flavoring, soy sauce, soy bean paste, hoisin sauce, starch.
Gluten Free products do not contain wheat, but Wheat-Free products may contain gluten.
Wheat is often not listed as an ingredient on non-food items such as craft supplies. For example, many children's play doughs contain wheat, as do many types of glue and some cosmetics.
Does not contain any yeast.
However, food labels do not account for yeast bearing items that are added ingredients, such as dried fruits, grapes or wine. Read the food labels with your needs in mind.
Does not contain any corn, corn flour, corn syrup, or corn oil.
Corn is embedded in many foods using many different names. At this point it is beyond our expertise to identify them all. We hope to learn as we go and identify more corn free options for people who are severely corn allergic.
Sugar-Free products have no refined sugar in them. These products are often sweetened with other substitutes.
"The majority of sugar substitutes approved for food use are artificially-synthesized compounds. However, some bulk natural sugar substitutes are known, including sorbitol and xylitol, which are found in berries, fruit, vegetables, and mushrooms. It is not commercially viable to extract these products from fruits and vegetables, so they are produced by catalytic hydrogenation of the appropriate reducing sugar. For example, xylose is converted to xylitol, lactose to lactitol, and glucose to sorbitol. Other natural substitutes are known, but are yet to gain official approval for food use." from Wikipedia
Does not contain any Monosodium Glutamate, also known as sodium glutamate.
MSG is a sodium salt of glutamic acid, a naturally occurring non-essential amino acid commonly used as a food additive. Trade names of monosodium glutamate include Ajinomoto, Vetsin, Ac'cent and Tasting Powder. It was once made predominantly from wheat gluten, but is now made mostly from bacterial fermentation. It is acceptable for a gluten-free diet, but some people may react adversely to the product.
The Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO) is a program of The Gluten Intolerance Group®, also known as GIG®, and is a 501(c3) non-profit organization.
GFCO certification requires a higher standard of gluten free qualities than the FDA and excludes most oats and oat based products.
For more info regarding what is and is not glutenous, see Celiac Sprue Association.
Kosher food is food prepared in accordance with Jewish Dietary Laws. For purposes of this website, we will identify those products that have been certified Kosher. To find items that are specifically Kosher Pareve*, please use the search mechanism to find Kosher and Dairy Free.
* "A Jewish term describing food made without animal or dairy ingredients. According to KOSHER dietary laws, animal food cannot be consumed at the same meal with dairy food, but a pareve food may be combined or eaten with either. In order to be pareve, breads and cakes must be made with vegetable oils and not with butter or other animal fat." Epicurious.com
"The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) now has national standards for the use of the word "organic." Unlike just a few years ago, consumers buying organic products, whether produced in the United States or imported, can be assured that the foods are produced without antibiotics, hormones, pesticides, irradiation or bioengineering. Organic farmers are required to adhere to certain soil and water conservation methods and to rules about the humane treatment of animals." from USDA-FDA.com
"Natural" and "organic" are not interchangeable. Only food labeled "organic" designates that the product meets the new USDA organic standards.
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