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Allergen labels

On kokusaisupply.com we use a mix of international allergy labels and Japanese allergy labels. By combining both standards we attempt to cover most groups and keep you well informed about each product. To help you understand what each labels meaning, and why they are displayed, we put a summary together for you here.

Celery

This includes celery stalks, leaves, spice, and celery salt. It is often found in salads, some meat products, soups, and stock cubes. People with a celery allergy also need to avoid celeriac, as they are varieties of the same species.

Criteria to receive the label

Celery and products thereof

allergen celery

Gluten

Gluten is the name of a family of proteins found in wheat, barley, rye, and oats. It is often found in foods containing flour and therefore bread, baked goods, cereals, and pasta. Gluten can also be found in barley-based products such as beer, malt, malt vinegar, and food coloring.

Criteria to receive the label

Cereals containing gluten, namely: wheat (such as spelt and Khorasan wheat), rye, barley, oats or their hybridized strains, and products thereof, except:

(a) wheat-based glucose syrups including dextrose
(b) wheat-based maltodextrins
(c) glucose syrups based on barley
(d) cereals used for making alcoholic distillates including ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin

allergen gluten

Crustaceans

These include crabs, lobsters, prawns, crabs, and scampi. They are invertebrates and have segmented bodies and jointed legs. They are often found in shrimp paste used for curries. Around 60% of people with a shellfish allergy experience their first symptoms as adults. This allergy can be suffered even without eating. The proteins in shellfish can be transmitted through the air when fish is cooked. As this allergy can be severe in many, it is especially important for sufferers to be careful. Having an allergy to mollusks increases the risk.

Criteria to receive the label

Crustaceans and products thereof

allergen crustacena

Eggs

These are often found in cakes, some meat products, mayonnaise, mousses, pasta, quiche, and food brushed with egg. Egg allergy is one of the most common foods to trigger allergic symptoms in babies and young children; however, most children outgrow the allergy. Egg allergy can occasionally develop later in life. Reactions to egg are usually triggered by the protein part of the egg, mainly the white or albumen. Having another type of allergy increases the risk. Eggs do not have to be eaten to cause a reaction. Coming into contact with eggshells or raw eggs may trigger a reaction in sensitive individuals.

Criteria to receive the label

Eggs and products thereof

allergen eggs

Fish

Often found in fish sauces, pizzas, relishes, salad dressings, and stock cubes. Fish and shellfish allergies are among the most common allergies in adults and can develop at any point in life with no previous symptoms experienced when eating fish. Because of the multiple uses and widespread use of fish in cooking, it is especially important for individuals with a fish allergy to know exactly what is in their food. Although treated as separate allergies, a fish, crustacean, or mollusk allergy increases the risk of having another of these three.

Criteria to receive the label

Fish and products thereof, except:

(a) fish gelatine used as a carrier for vitamin or carotenoid preparations
(b) fish gelatine or Isinglass used as a fining agent in beer and wine

allergen fish

Lupin

This includes lupin seeds and flour and can be found in bread, pastries, and pasta. Sometimes called lupine, it is a legume belonging to the same family as peanuts. It is frequently consumed in the Mediterranean, especially in the form of lupin flour. Lupin beans are eaten whole after boiling and drying as a snack in many countries.

Criteria to receive the label

Lupin and products thereof

allergen lupin

Diary

This is found in butter, cheese, cream, milk powders, yogurt, and foods glazed with milk. Cow’s milk allergy affects around 3-6% of infants and young children and causes many health problems. It frequently takes many months to be diagnosed. The enzyme lactose is the cause of the allergic reaction. Many children outgrow a milk allergy, and this allergy is uncommon in adults.

Criteria to receive the label

Milk and products thereof (including lactose), except:

(a) whey used for making alcoholic distillates including ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin
(b) lactitol

allergen milk

Molluscs

These include mussels, land snails, squid, and whelks. They are often found in oyster sauce or as an ingredient in fish stews. Mollusks are soft-bodied invertebrates, with some having a shell. Those that have a shell that opens and closes are called bivalve mollusks, such as oysters and clams. As with fish and crustaceans, an allergy to one will increase the risk of being allergic to one or both of the others.

Criteria to receive the label

Molluscs and products thereof

allergen moluscs

Mustard

This includes mustard powder, liquid mustard, and mustard seeds. It is often found in bread, curries, marinades, meat products, salad dressing, sauces, and soups. Because it is often hidden as an ingredient, it is important to note it may not be obvious by sight, smell or taste. Mustard seeds are produced by the mustard plant, a member of the Brassica family. The seeds vary in color and are frequently ground down to use in cooking. Mustard allergy is more common in countries where it forms a larger part of the cuisine, such as in France. Mustard allergy can occur when there is a reaction between a food and a pollen allergen. Mugwort-mustard allergy syndrome occurs when a person becomes sensitized to a weed called mugwort. It affects those with hay fever and who react to foods eaten from the wider mustard family.

Criteria to receive the label

Mustard and products thereof

allergen mustard

Nuts

These include almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, cashews, pecan nuts, Brazil nuts, pistachio nuts, macadamia, or Queensland nuts. They can be found in bread, biscuits, crackers, desserts, ice cream, marzipan, nut oils, and sauces. Ground, crushed, or flaked almonds are often used in Asian cooking. It is most common to develop a tree nut allergy before the age of 5, but also possible for adults and older children to develop a nut allergy, even when nuts have been previously eaten with no reaction. Those with a peanut allergy have a 30-40% likelihood of developing a tree nut allergy as they have similar proteins. People with a nut allergy are more at risk of being allergic to sesame seeds due to similarities in proteins.

Criteria to receive the label

Nuts, namely: almonds (Amygdalus communis L.), hazelnuts (Corylus avellana), walnuts (Juglans regia), cashews (Anacardium occidentale), pecan nuts (Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch), Brazil nuts (Bertholletia excelsa), pistachio nuts (Pistacia vera), macadamia or Queensland nuts (Macadamia ternifolia), and products thereof, except for nuts used for making alcoholic distillates including ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin

allergen treenut

Peanuts

These can be found in biscuits, cakes, curries, desserts, and sauces. They are also in groundnut oil and peanut flour. Peanuts are a legume and different from tree nuts, but they have proteins that are similar. An allergy to peanuts does increase the likelihood of developing an allergy to nuts, sesame seeds, and lupin. Signs and symptoms of a peanut allergy can occur within minutes of contact but can take an hour to be apparent. Because of the often severe reaction to a peanut allergy, it is vital to check ingredient lists, especially from foods produced outside the EU where they are not required to highlight the presence of peanuts.

Criteria to receive the label

Peanuts and products thereof

allergen peanuts

Sesame seeds

These can be found in bread, breadsticks, as a garnish, in hummus, sesame oil, and tahini (sesame paste). On foreign products, sesame is known as Benne, Gingelly, Till or Teel, Simsim, or Ajonjoli. Many people with a mild allergy to sesame are able to eat buns coated with sesame seeds because the protein causing the allergy is only released when the seed is squashed or broken.

Criteria to receive the label

Sesame seeds and products thereof

allergen sesame

Soy

This can be found in bean curd, edamame seeds, miso paste, soy protein, soy flour, tofu, and a vast range of processed foods. It is often used in desserts, ice cream, meat products, sauces, and vegetarian products. The soya bean is a legume, but a reaction to other legumes does not necessarily produce allergies. Soy is widely used in food manufacture and is difficult to avoid with as much as 60% of manufactured foods containing soy. Avoidance of all foods containing soya is very difficult, however as with other allergens, the avoidance necessary depends on the severity of the allergy.

Criteria to receive the label

Soybeans and products thereof, except:

(a) fully refined soybean oil and fat

(b) natural mixed tocopherols (E306), natural D-alpha tocopherol, natural D-alpha tocopherol acetate, and natural D-alpha tocopherol succinate from soybean sources

(c) vegetable oils derived phytosterols and phytosterol esters from soybean sources

(d) plant stanol ester produced from vegetable oil sterols from soybean sources

allergen soy

Sulfur dioxide

Sulfites are preservatives used in dried fruit, meat products, and vegetables, as well as in wine and beer. Sulfur dioxide allergy is rare. However, sulfites can cause allergy-like symptoms in people with underlying conditions such as asthma. Sulfite sensitivity is thought to affect less than 2% of the general population, but more likely between 5% & 13% for asthmatics.

Criteria to receive the label

Sulphur dioxide and sulfites at concentrations of more than 10 mg/kg or 10 mg/litre in terms of the total SO2 which are to be calculated for products as proposed ready for consumption or as reconstituted according to the instructions of the manufacturers

allergen sulphites

Buckwheat

Buckwheat allergy has become increasingly common not only in Asia but also in Europe and the USA. Buckwheat belongs to the Polygonaceae family and is an important ingredient in a wide range of traditional Asian and European dishes. Its two main types are common buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum) and Tartary buckwheat (Fagopyrum tartaricum). Buckwheat flour is rich in protein and also contains dietary fibre, minerals, and vitamins. Buckwheat contains very little or no gluten, making it a good supplement for patients with coeliac disease. Buckwheat is not only a food allergen but also an occupational allergen and a hidden allergen. Buckwheat allergy can also commonly lead to life-threatening anaphylaxis; reports of this in Singapore, though few, have certainly raised awareness of this dangerous allergen.

Criteria to receive the label

Buckwheat and products thereof

allergen buckwheat

Japan’s 28 raw-ingredients

In guidance of the Japanese food safety regulations, we include a list of 28 specific raw materials in the Product Details tab. Please note that these ingredients will only appear if added to the list by the manufacturer of the product.