Corn allergies are becoming more common, yet still aren’t considered to be one of the top 8. The top 8 food allergies are: wheat, dairy, soy, peanut, tree nut, shellfish, fish and egg. Similar to these other foods, a corn allergy may manifest in hives and severe allergic reactions, or may manifest in headaches and stomachaches.
The best way to determine whether your child has a corn allergy is to have an allergy test performed by a Board Certified Allergist. Guessing whether your child’s symptoms are caused by corn or not is dangerous! Have an allergy testing completed and you’ll know for sure.
The only cure for a food allergy is to avoid the food entirely. With corn, this is very difficult if your child eats any processed foods. Corn syrup is used in many children’s foods and cereals, which makes label reading a must!
Mexican foods, such as corn tortillas and corn chips and basic popcorn are easy enough to avoid and to note. However, foods such as spaghetti sauces and canned soups may contain corn syrup.
There is corn flour, corn meal (watch out for pizza crusts) and corn oil that you may run into. The oil may be refined and not contain the corn protein, however we exercise extreme caution with any oils of the foods that my son is allergic to. Dextrose is a corn derivative, as is dextrin and maltodextrin, which may be used in sauces and dressings to thicken them.
Corn can also be found as an adhesive for envelopes and stickers. There aren’t as many of these that require licking any more, but be cautious!
Other possible hidden sources of corn are medicines and ointments. Read labels always and don’t be afraid to call the manufacturer to inquire about the possibility of corn!
Here is a list of ingredients to watch for:
Corn (fresh, canned, creamed, frozen, oil, popped, carmeled, etc.)
Caramel color (can be made from corn syrup)
Cornmeal, cornstarch (may also be called food starch), corn syrup
Dextrin, Dextrose, Fructose
Maltodextrins, Sorbitol, Mannitol
Vanilla extract (can be made with corn syrup)