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Is Coconut A Tree Nut Allergy

Are You Concerned About Being Allergic To The Soap Because Of Coconut Oil

Is a Coconut a Nut? – Sharp Science

Weve been asked by customers with tree nut allergies if our soap is made using coconut oil. They are concerned about being allergic to goat milk soap because of the cocoNUT oil in our recipe. Memories of my college biology class told me that a coconut and a tree nut are NOT the same thing, but I needed more than just my recollections to share with customers.

Much of the information on the web about whether coconut oil is safe for tree nut allergies is confusing. Some articles warn against coconut as an allergen and others say it is completely safe. We reached out to Dr. Wade Watson, an allergist who writes articles for Allergic Living Magazine. He wrote an article back in 2005 on the question Is coconut a tree nut?

How Many People Are Allergic To Coconut

According to a;2017 study, reports of immunoglobulin E -mediated coconut allergy are rare.;However, despite the low prevalence of coconut allergy, reactions can be seriousseveral reported cases have involved anaphylaxis.;

Its important to note that since the FDA DOES classify coconut as a tree nut allergen, its required to be labeled as such on all FDA-regulated packaged food products. For information on food allergy labeling laws, check out our post on that topic;here.

Is Coconut Safe For People With Nut Allergies

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology , while its possible to have an allergic reaction to coconut, most people who are allergic to tree nuts can safely eat coconut. Because coconuts are not considered a botanical nut, the ACAAI considers them to be a fruit. This is also confirmed by the Food Allergy Research & Education Network . If you or your child has a severe tree nut allergy, its still a good idea to talk with your allergist before adding coconut to your diet.

Once youre cleared to enjoy coconut, here are a few recipes to get you started.

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Coconut Allergy Is Relatively Rare

Coconut is a very different plant from peanut or tree nuts. The presence of the letters “nut” does not mean that coconut will trigger an allergic reaction in people allergic to peanut or tree nuts. Allergies to peanut and tree nuts are relatively common compared to allergies to coconut which are very rare. This suggests that the risk of coconut allergy in a person known to be allergic to peanut or tree nuts is very low. Therefore allergy testing to coconut is not considered as routine.

Frequently Asked Fridays: Does Fda Consider Coconut An Allergen

Is Coconut a Tree Nut? Are Coconut Food Products Safe for ...

Approximately 32 million Americans suffer from food allergies. In response, Congress passed the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 which requires food labels to list all ingredients that may cause allergic reactions.; The law identifies eight major food allergens, one of which is tree nuts. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recognizes coconut as a tree nut, and thus an allergen that must be declared. This can be confusing for some, as coconuts are not typically considered to be nuts and there are few instances of people being allergic to both true tree nuts and coconuts. Despite this, coconut remains on the list, so food facilities labeling products containing coconut must list it in the ingredients appropriately.

FALCPA Requirements for Declaring Allergens

FALCPA is applied to eight food groups that were chosen because they account for over 90% of all food allergies in the United States. They are:

  • Milk
  • Wheat
  • Soybeans

Coconut and Allergen Labeling

While coconuts grow on trees and contain the word nut in their title, Coconuts are botanically a drupe, a fruit with several hard layers. Despite this, they still fall under FDAs designation of tree nuts for the purpose of FALCPA. This can be confusing for labelers who may have not thought of coconut as being an actual nut or as a major food allergen.

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What To Do If Youre Worried About A Possible Coconut Allergy

Its important to talk to your doctor/allergist if you have any concerns about a potential coconut allergy. They will be able to advise you on the best course of action.;

Importantly, while the FDA treats coconut as a tree nut for labeling purposes, dont assume restaurants treat coconuts as tree nuts. If youre worried you have a coconut allergy, its a good idea to call out that ingredient specifically when dining out, and take the same precautionary measures you would with any other food allergy.;

Is Coconut A Nut

Coconut is still technically considered a fruit, but the FDA grayed those lines. Even the Library of Congress tackled this hot topic and concluded that the coconut can be classified as a nut, a fruit or a seed according to their loose definitions.

Coconut is considered a drupe, or a fruit with a hard covering over the seed. But because nuts are defined as a one-seeded fruit, the coconut fits both descriptions. While the ins and outs of coconut classifications may put us non-botanists in a daze, its a crucial decision for anyone with a tree nut allergy.

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Are Coconuts Safe To Eat With A Tree Nut Allergy

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, while there are some documented cases of coconut allergy,;most people who are allergic to tree nuts can safely tolerate coconuts.

Talk to your allergist before adding coconut to your diet. Depending on your type and severity of tree nut allergy, your allergist may recommend avoiding it.

Tree Nuts And Peanuts

Peanuts, tree nuts and coconuts – not all nuts are created equal.

Theres often confusion between peanuts and tree nuts. Peanuts are legumes, not nuts; still, between 25 and 40 percent of individuals who are;allergic to peanuts;also react to at least one tree nut, according to studies.

Allergists generally advise people who are allergic to tree nuts also to avoid peanuts because of the risk of cross-contact and cross-contamination between tree nuts and peanuts in food processing facilities. If you or your child is allergic to either peanuts or tree nuts,;ask your allergist;whether you should avoid both products.

The prevalence of these allergies in children appears to be growing, according to a;2010 study;that compared data from telephone surveys of 5,300 U.S. households in 1997, 2002 and 2008. In the 2008 survey, 2.1 percent of respondents reported having a child with an allergy to peanuts, tree nuts or both. In the 2002 survey, 1.2 percent of subjects said they had a child with one or both of these allergies; five years earlier, in 1997, only 0.6 percent of respondents reported having a child with one or both of these allergies.

Allergies to tree nuts and peanuts are among the most common;causes of anaphylaxis;in the United States. An allergist will advise patients with these allergies to carry an auto-injector containing epinephrine , which is the only treatment for anaphylactic shock, and will teach the patient how to use it. If a child has the allergy, teachers and caregivers should be made aware of his or her condition as well.

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What Is A Tree Nut

The Food & Drug Administration publishes a list of all the nuts that they consider “tree nuts”. If a product contains any of these foods, the company is required to list it clearly in their ingredient label. In addition, the company must specify the type of tree nut, because some people may be allergic to one type of nut, and can safely eat another type of nut.

This list contains such classic nuts like almonds, walnuts, pistachios, and yes, coconut.;Read the full list here.

What Is The Government Of Canada Doing About Priority Food Allergens Gluten Sources And Added Sulphites

The Government of Canada is committed to providing Canadians with the information they need to make safe and healthy food choices. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Health Canada work closely with municipal, provincial and territorial partners and industry to meet this goal.

The CFIA enforces Canada’s labelling laws and works with associations, distributors, food manufacturers and importers to ensure complete and appropriate labelling of all foods. The CFIA recommends that food companies establish effective allergen controls to prevent the occurrence of undeclared allergens and cross-contamination. The CFIA has developed guidelines and tools to aid them in developing these controls. When the CFIA becomes aware of a potential hazard associated with a food, such as undeclared allergens, Health Canada is asked to assess the situation. When a serious risk is identified, the food product is recalled from the marketplace and a public warning is issued. The CFIA has also published several advisories to industry and consumers regarding allergens in food.

More information on the regulations that enhance the labelling of food allergens, gluten sources and added sulphites can be found on the Health Canada website.

If you come across a food that you think is improperly labelled, contact the CFIA and provide information about the product.

Report a food safety or labelling concern.

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School Of Imaginations Nut

I would like to take a moment to remind you that there are students in our school with life-threatening allergies to peanuts and tree nuts. For some students, their allergy sensitivity is so severe that coming into contact with trace amounts of nuts through skin or airborne contact can lead to anaphylactic shock. In the most extreme cases, this can lead to respiratory difficulties and blockage of the airways that requires immediate medical treatment. When we say life threatening, we are not overreacting.

Safety is our top priority in everything we do. For this reason, we need your support and cooperation to ensure that the lives of our kiddos with severe nut allergies are not put in jeopardy by the snacks and lunches you pack. We ask you to please read food labels carefully, checking for peanut/nut ingredients prior to sending food to school. If you have caregivers who provide lunches or snacks for your kids, we encourage you to share this information with them. We realize this request may require added planning and effort on your part when packaging your childs lunch and snacks, and we cant thank you enough for your participation in our efforts to keep every child healthy and safe.

Thank you so much for your collaboration in making our school safe for all of our students!

FAQsWhat ingredients are considered Peanuts or Tree Nuts?

Question: I Am Peanut Allergic But I Have Heard Eating Foods Fried In Peanut Oil Might Be Ok Is This True

Are Coconuts Safe To Eat With Tree Nut Allergy

Answer: Most peanut allergic patients can tolerate highly refined peanut oil.;This is because the peanut protein is removed during processing.; Gourmet peanut oils that are cold pressed, extruded, or expelled can contain enough peanut protein to cause a reaction, so they should be avoided.2;These oils do not have as high of a smoke-point as refined peanut oil and are not meant to be used in high-heat cooking such as frying.;If you are unsure which type of oil is in a food, its safest to avoid it.

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Why Do Products With Coconut State Contains Tree Nuts

So why does the FDA require coconut to be labeled as a tree nut? No one really knows for sure.

When the FDA passed the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act several years ago, they included coconut on;their list of tree nuts.;Therefore all products with coconut must make it recognizable or specifically note that tree nuts are found in the product.

Many researchers, organizations, and food manufacturers have contested labeling coconut as a tree nut for years. But its very hard to get the wording of a law changed.

The EU does a little bit better job with tree nut allergy labeling. Food manufacturers cant just list tree nut allergy. They have to call out which tree nut specifically. And their list of tree nuts includes almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts. They specifically state Other types of nuts, and other foods which are not nuts , are not named in the rules.

Tree Nut Allergy Treatment

While there are studies focusing on immunotherapy for food allergies, these therapies have not yet been approved by the FDA. Food oral immunotherapy involves eating a small dose of the allergen and gradually increasing the amount over time. This method attempts to desensitize patients to the allergy.

Food oral immunotherapy has been a controversial subject among doctors. Many believe that the risks are much greater than the benefits. This treatment could cause many severe allergic reactions in the process, making patients depend on epinephrine more often. Since epinephrine auto-injectors come with a heavy price tag for some people , its not an option for everyone.

Until more research is done on eliminating food allergies, the best treatment is avoidance. The allergists at NY Allergy & Sinus Centers have provided a list of tree nuts you need to avoid. We understand that its not always possible to avoid to tree nuts, so carry your prescribed EpiPen or Auvi-Q.

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What Are The Symptoms Of An Allergic Or Allergic

When someone comes in contact with a food allergen or added sulphites, the symptoms of an allergic or allergic-type reaction may develop quickly and rapidly progress from mild to severe. The most severe form of an allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis. Symptoms can include breathing difficulties, a drop in blood pressure or shock, which may result in loss of consciousness and even death. A person experiencing an allergic reaction may have any combination of the following signs or symptoms:

  • Skin: hives, swelling , itching, warmth, redness;
  • Respiratory: coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest pain or tightness, throat tightness, hoarse voice, nasal congestion or hay fever-like symptoms , trouble swallowing;
  • Gastrointestinal: nausea, pain or cramps, vomiting, diarrhea;
  • Cardiovascular: paler than normal skin colour/blue skin colour, weak pulse, dizziness or light headedness, loss of consciousness, shock;
  • Other: anxiety, sense of impending doom, headache, uterine cramps, metallic taste.

;Source: Anaphylaxis in Schools & Other Settings

I Have A Tree Nut Allergy How Can I Avoid A Tree Nut

Food Allergy 101: Prevent Tree Nut Allergies | Tree Nut Allergy Symptom
  • Read food labels.

Avoid all food and products that contain tree nuts and any product whose label carries a precautionary statement warning that the product might have tree nuts in it such as may contain tree nuts or similar wording. When provided by a manufacturer, precautionary statements are usually found after the list of ingredients or “Contains” statement if there is one.; By December 2021 any precautionary statements will have to appear in this location only.

If a tree nut is part of the product formulation, the specific tree nut must be declared by their common name in the list of ingredients or in a separate contains statement immediately following the list of ingredients.

  • Avoid any products that do not have an ingredient list.;
  • Read labels every time you shop. Manufacturers may occasionally change their recipes or use different ingredients for varieties of the same product.

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Is Granola Considered Healthy

There are many positive health benefits associated with the ingredients in granola. There is tons of fiber, and coconut oil is a great source of healthy fats. However, due to the high sugar content with the brown sugar, and honey, it is best to limit your serving size if you are partaking in a low carbohydrate, and low sugar diet.

What Can I Do

Be informed

Consult your allergist or physician in order to obtain the advice and support needed to help manage your condition. Contact your allergy association for further information.

If you or anyone you know has food allergies and would like to receive information about food being recalled due to improper allergen labelling, sign up for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s e-mail Food Recalls and Allergy Alerts notification service available. When you sign up you will automatically receive timely food recall notifications.

Before eating

Allergists recommend that if you do not have your auto-injector device with you that you do not eat. If an ingredient list says a product contains or may contain tree nuts, do not eat it. If you do not recognize an ingredient, if there is no ingredient list available or if you don’t understand the language written on the packaging, avoid the product.

Watch out for allergen cross-contamination!

Cross-contamination is the accidental transfer of an ingredient to a product that does not normally have that ingredient in it. Through cross-contamination, a food that should not contain the allergen could become dangerous to eat for those who are allergic.

Cross-contamination can happen:

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Coconut Is Not A Nut But It Is On The Tree

Coconut, an uncommon food allergen, is actually the fruit of coconut palm trees. So why are coconuts on the FDAs tree-nut allergen list? The most common-sense explanation is that the FDAs tree-nut allergen classification is a culinary one, a broad grouping of nuts and nut-like foods. Even almonds, pine nuts, and pecans are not botanically classified as nuts but are categorized as nuts for cooking, baking, and snacking purposes.

Keeping It Simple

If there were separate allergen lists for true nuts, drupes, and seeds it would arguably be more cumbersome and confusing for food-allergic consumers:

  • Nuts are fruits composed of a hard shell containing a generally edible seed .
  • A drupe is a type of fruit with an outer fleshy part that surrounds a shell or pit with a seed inside . Walnuts, almonds, and pecans are drupes where we eat the pits seed.
  • Seeds are small embryonic plants enclosed in a seed coat .

Although our science texts distinguish these different types of fruits and seeds from each other, our recipe books usually do not. Consumers and cooks typically call most of them nuts, and coconut fits best into this culinary-allergen category.

Scientific Similarity

A more scientific reason for putting coconuts on the tree-nut list has to do with cross-reactivity. Cross-reactions occur when people are triggered by a food other than the food they developed an allergy to. This can happen when different foods contain similar allergenic proteins.


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