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Coconut Allergy

February 2, 2013

Coconut by PhilipponeCoconuts are the fruit of the coconut palm, botanically known as cocos nucifera, with nucifera meaning “nut-bearing”. The word coco means “monkey face”. 

The fruit-bearing palms are native to Malaysia, Polynesia and southern Asia, and are now also prolific in South America, India, the Pacific Islands, Hawaii and Florida. The light, fibrous husk allowed it to easily drift on the oceans to other areas to propagate. 

Although it takes up to a year for coconuts to mature, the trees bloom up to thirteen times a year. Fruit is constantly forming, thus yielding a continuous harvest year-round. The coconut fruit has many food uses for its water, milk, meat, sugar, and oil. It also functions as its own dish and cup. Coconut oil, a saturated fat made from dried coconut meat, is used for commercial frying and in candies and margarines, as well as in non-edible products such as soaps and cosmetics.

The coconut’s name is a misnomer, since it is botanically classified as a drupe and not a nut. It is the largest seed known.

Allergy

–       A tree nut and a coconut allergy are listed as tree nut allergies on products. This is determined by the FDA.
–       The FDA did not consider coconut to be part of tree nut allergy’s in labeling until 2006.  Does this mean everything listed with tree nut on it includes the coconut component?  Yes according the FALCPA.
–      The protein in coconut is incredibly close to the protein in walnuts and hazelnuts, there may be cross reactivity between all of these.
–      Coconut oil is a cold pressed oil therefore less of the protein is removed during processing compared to peanut oil.
–      There also may be cross reaction between pomegranate and dates.

Coconut as hidden ingredient:

  • Margarine
  • Orange Juice
  • Vitamins
  • Gummie Vitamins
  • Lotions and soaps
  • Baked goods
  • Cereal
  • Ice Cream
  • Movie Theater Popcorn
  • Cool Whip
  • Candy and Chocolate Bars
  • (Quaker) Granola Bars
  • Frozen Meals
  • Infant Formula

Source:
Coconut Allergy, Glutenfree363: http://gf-blog.com
http://homecooking.about.com

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