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  • Jim Hinds

Chocolate allergy- does it exist?

It is not unusual for people to announce they have a chocolate allergy and with Easter round the corner I thought this worthy of a mention. In a German survey cocoa was in the top 7 foods reported to cause an adverse reaction so are people allergic? A bit pedantic I know but allergies are immune system mediated reactions. And this is very very rare to the cocoa nut, the seeds of which are extensively processed to manufacture chocolate. This processing is likely to remove any potential proteins which we mount allergic reactions t . But they can cause adverse reactions frequently (and allergies are a type of adverse reaction I admit) due to naturally occurring phenylethylamines which cause headaches and flushing.


The usual culprits in a true allergic reaction to chocolate products are the added ingredients such as cows milk (which is likely to show up before this) and nuts. Soya lecithin is frequently labelled as an allergen in chocolate products. This is derived from unrefined soya oil. If you are allergic to soya then avoid these products though it is likely you could tolerate them so discuss with your allergist.

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