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Food Allergies: Names for Common Allergens

Topic Overview

Food labels tell you what ingredients are in a food. Look for the name of your allergen in the ingredient list, such as buttermilk if you are allergic to milk. You may see an unusual name such as "lecithin" followed by the common name (soy). Also look for a "contains" statement, such as "Contains Wheat, Milk, and Soy."

The following table provides terms you may see on a food label for common allergens and foods that may contain the allergen.

Common food allergy terms
Allergen Other names/ingredients Sometimes found in:
Wheat
  • Bran, durum, germ, gluten, grass, malt, sprouts, starch
  • Bulgur
  • Couscous
  • Cereal extract
  • Cracker meal
  • Flours
  • Pasta
  • Semolina
  • Spelt
  • Triticale
  • Glucose syrup
  • Soy sauce
  • Starches
  • Surimi
Milk, cow's milk protein
  • Buttermilk
  • Casein, caseinates
  • Curds, whey
  • Ghee
  • Lactalbumin, lactalbumin phosphate, lactoferrin, lactose
  • Milk solids
  • Sour cream
  • Tagatose
  • Yogurt
  • Artificial butter flavor, margarine
  • Cheeses, custard, pudding, sour cream, yogurt
  • Chocolate, caramel candies
  • Lactic acid starter culture and other bacterial cultures
  • Lunch meats, hot dogs, sausages
Eggs
  • Albumin
  • Lysozyme
  • Mayonnaise
  • Meringue and meringue powder
  • Ovalbumin
  • Surimi
  • Baked goods
  • Egg substitutes
  • Lecithin
  • Macaroni, pasta
  • Marzipan, marshmallow, nougat
Shellfish
  • Barnacle, crab, crawfish, krill, lobster, prawns, shrimp
  • Mollusks, clams, cockle, octopus, scallops, squid, oysters
  • Periwinkle, sea cucumber, whelk
  • Bouillabaisse
  • Glucosamine
  • Surimi
Tree nuts
  • Almonds, beechnut, Brazil nut, butternut, cashew, chestnut
  • Chinquapin, coconut, gianduja, ginkgo nut, hazelnut, hickory nut
  • Litchi, macadamia nut, marzipan, nangai nut, pecans, pesto, pine nut, pistachio, praline, shea nut, walnut
  • Nut extracts
  • Nut oils
Peanuts
  • Arachis oil
  • Cold-pressed, expeller-pressed, or extruded peanut oil
  • Beer nuts, ground nuts, mixed nuts, artificial nuts, monkey nuts, nut meat
  • Mandelonas
  • Baked goods (pastries, cookies)
  • Candy, chocolates, nougat, marzipan
  • Chili, soups, egg rolls
  • Enchilada sauce, mole sauce
  • African, Asian, and Mexican dishes
Soy
  • Edamame
  • Miso, natto, shoyu, tofu
  • Tamari
  • Textured vegetable protein (TVP)
  • Asian dishes
  • Vegetable broth, vegetable gum, vegetable starch
Fish
  • Anchovies
  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Bouillabaisse
  • Fish stock
  • Imitation fish

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Rohit K Katial, MD - Allergy and Immunology
Last Revised February 25, 2013

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

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