Food Allergies: Names for Common Allergens

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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:
  • Bran, durum, germ, gluten, grass, malt, sprouts, starch
  • Bulgur
  • Couscous
  • Cereal extract
  • Cracker meal
  • Flours
  • Semolina
  • Spelt
  • Triticale
  • Glucose syrup
  • Soy sauce
  • Starches
  • Surimi
Milk, cow's milk protein
  • Casein, caseinates
  • Milk solids
  • Curds, whey
  • Lactalbumin, lactalbumin phosphate, lactose, lactoferrin
  • Ghee
  • Tagatose
  • Artificial butter flavour, margarine
  • Cheeses, custard, pudding, sour cream, yogurt
  • Chocolate, caramel candies
  • Lactic acid starter culture and other bacterial cultures
  • Lunch meats, hot dogs, sausages
  • Albumin
  • Mayonnaise
  • Meringue and meringue powder
  • Ovalbumin
  • Lysozyme
  • Surimi
  • Baked goods
  • Egg substitutes
  • Lecithin
  • Macaroni, pasta
  • Marzipan, marshmallow, nougat
  • 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, hazelnut, gianduja, ginkgo nut, hickory nut
  • Litchi, macadamia nut, marzipan, nangai nut, pecans, pesto, pine nut, pistachio, praline, shea nut, walnut
  • Nut extracts
  • Nut oils
  • 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
  • Edamame
  • Textured vegetable protein (TVP)
  • Miso, natto, shoyu, tofu
  • Asian dishes
  • Vegetable broth, vegetable gum, vegetable starch
  • Anchovies
  • Caviar
  • Roe
  • Anchovies
  • Caviar
  • Roe

Related Information


By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Primary Medical Reviewer Andrew Swan, MD, CCFP, FCFP - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Rohit K Katial, MD - Allergy and Immunology
Last Revised April 28, 2011

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