Monday, November 16, 2009

Gluten-Free Pasta Brand Now Lists Nut Allergy Advisory

One of my blogger/writer buddies, Wendy, from the wonderful blog Celiacs in the House, sent me an alert about a gluten-free pasta that contains an ingredient called "lupin."

Some of you may have heard of a product in gluten-free pasta brands that can cause an allergic reaction in people allergic to nuts--lupin is that ingredient. It contains proteins that are similar to the ones that cause an allergic reaction in people with nut allergies. So we definitely want to avoid it.
Click here to read a previous post I wrote about lupin and gluten-free pasta.

Wendy shared the above photo with me to illustrate that brands of gluten-free pasta, such as Bi-Aglut now has a peanut allergy advisory warning. Progress, definitely! In the past, no such warning was listed on the package.

However, Wendy did tell me that another gluten-free pasta that she uses called "Schar" does not have a nut allergy advisory warning on the package, though it definitely should since it does contain lupin as an ingredient.
The bottom line--if you're nut-allergic and also have allergies to wheat or celiac disease, be very careful of gluten-free pasta. If lupin is an ingredient, avoid it. And of course, ask your allergist for more details. This is a fairly new ingredient but with the influx of gluten-free foods on the market these days, it's something we should be aware of.
Thank you, Wendy, for your consideration in letting us know about this. It's really important info! Anyone living gluten-free should check out Wendy's blog for terrific GF recipes, photos, info and much, much more.

Also, a big thank you to all of you who commented on my previous post asking you about your top concerns as a nut allergy parent or caregiver! I will spend the next several weeks addressing them. And of course, keep your comments and questions coming, either by commenting on the blog or e-mailing me.

And just one word of encouragement to the nut allergy "newbies" out there: You can do this. It does get easier with time and soon you'll see that your child and/or you can live a full life despite the occasional glitches or pitfalls. Don't get discouraged. :)


WendyGK said...

Glad you could use the info, Jenny. Our celiac exchange student told me this morning that his sister is not only celiac, but has a peanut allergy. She even had to be air-lifted to the hospital from a ferry off Norway when she ate something with peanuts while on board.

Col said...

Thanks for this-- as a mom of a PA/celiac kid, we'll be watching out for lupin.

Laura said...

Thank you very much for that valuable information. We used gluten free pastas in our home and never knew of the nut allergy risk. I will forward your post onto other gluten free friends.

allergymom said...

Thanks for posting this. Lupin is also found in some gluten free crackers and many foods imported from Europe, especially Italy. Lupini is another word for the same ingredient. It's a legume, so the cross reactivity issues seems to be most prevalent for people with peanut allergy.

Susan said...

Thank you for the info. My kiddo has peanut/tree nut allergies & celiac disease. I'm happy to report that the ingredients of the pasta in our house are rice and/or corn and water.

WendyGK said...

Me again. I see from your readers' comments that kids with both celiac and nut allergies are common. So do I have to worry about my celiac student eating tons of those Schar rolls with lupin? Is this something that can cause a reaction due to the amounts he is eating and with a sibling having peanut allergy? This is all new to me.

Confessions of a Mother, Lawyer & Crazy Woman said...

Thanks for the update!

Jenny said...

Hi Wendy,

I see that you're worried that your exchange student may have a latent peanut allergy that could be bothered by lupin.

This is a valid question, so I wonder if he's ever been tested for a peanut/nut allergy. If he has and he tested negative, then he's probably OK. This is the case with our youngest daughter--she tested negative for all top 8 food allergies, despite her sister's severe peanut/tree nut allergy. So while it does run in families, this is not always a definitive indicator that a sibling will have the same type of allergy sensitivity. I would say he should ask an allergist or an MD that he consults for celiac disease.

If he has been eating GF pasta with lupin up till now with no problems, that's a good sign.

This is tricky stuff and I'm so glad you brought it up--you're helping people by sharing these concerns. Will you keep us posted about your exchange student?

Good luck--I hope you can keep using the GF pasta brand that you like.

Anonymous said...

I really appreciate your last paragraph here of encouragement. I'm so overwhelmed with my son's allergy diagnosis. (Nuts) Thanksgiving was a disaster IMO and I'm dreading next year. Thanks again! - Leslie

Gluten Free Diet said...

Thanks for the alert.

Anonymous said...

What pasta is suggested for those with a peanut allergy?

Jenny said...

Regarding pasta, most wheat-based pasta is safe for nut allergies (of course, always read labels and check with companies for more info if you need it.)

The problem described in this post refers to gluten-free pasta that specifically contains "lupin" a protein that may cross-react with some people who have peanut allergies. This ingredient is often found in imported pasta so check labels carefully.

However, wheat pasta, in general, does not cause problems for peanut allergies. As always, carefully check each food before serving it to an allergic person.

lovelylinguist said...

I am GF due to IBS, my son has a verified peanut and tree nut allergy. Just checked all of my packages of Schar pasta, and they do not contain lupin. They contain corn, rice, and pea protein. So perhaps, since the original post from 2009, Schar has changed its ingredients. (In case anyone is wondering: lupin is from the legume family - its seeds are called beans - and you may know it mostly as a beautiful flowering plant. Pea protein is derived from peas, which are a fruit but considered to be a vegetable in cooking.)