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Corn Allergy


Corn has been said to be the finest of all vegetables and certainly the staff of life in many areas of the world.  Sensitivity to corn is one of the most common causes of food allergy and can be very difficult to avoid.

Mode Of Exposure:

Corn may be a cause of allergic symptoms as the result of ingestion, inhalation or direct contact.  The most common inhalant sources are the fumes of popcorn and the steam of cooking corn.  Direct contact exposures include body powders, bath powders and starch used when ironing clothes.  Occasionally corn is a cause of trouble as an inhalant when all other sources of corn are tolerated.  In general, the ingestion of corn and corn containing products represents by far the greatest corn exposure.  Rarely the degree of sensitivity is so great that even the small amounts found in many medicinal tablets (zein coatings or corn starch) or capsules becomes a factor.

Forms Of Corn:

Quite often there is a difference in the effect caused by various forms of corn.  Thus, one might be able to eat certain forms of corn without having any symptoms, but will react if using other forms of corn or corn products that are more processed, such as sugar, starch, or corn oil.  Popcorn may be cause of trouble when all other kinds of corn products are agreeable.

      A)  Processed forms of Corn
  • Corn flakes
  • Corn flour
  • Corn meal
  • Corn oil
  • Cornstarch
  • Corn chips
  • Tortilla chips
  • Corn syrups
  • Cerelose
  • Dextrose
  • Grits
  • Hominy
  • Parched corn
  • Popped corn
  • Puffed corn flakes

      B)  Unprocessed or Less Processed forms of Corn
  • Fresh corn
  • Roasting ears
  • Frozen corn
  • Canned corn
  • Succotash

Contacts With Corn:

Corn is mixed with more foods than any other single food.  You must determine by asking and reading label contents carefully whether corn in any form is present in a food product.  If in doubt, question the manufacturer or representative and if you cannot be assured there is no corn or corn products present, avoid the food.  This applies to foods, liquors, baked goods, sweeteners, candies, cosmetics and toiletries, as well as medications in tablet, capsule, and syrup form.


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