19 March 2011

Lupine Allergy. A Danger for the Peanut Allergic traveling To Europe

Lupine allergy and peanut allergy- is there a link?
On my page "Where Is the Peanut Hiding?"   I list items that pose a hidden danger to people allergic to peanuts. A rather obscure food called Lupin is quickly becoming a more commonly used ingredient and food, especially in Europe and the Mediterranean region.  
(also Australia, USA, Canada, South America,)
WARNING- Unfortunately many peanut allergic individuals can have an allergic reaction to lupin.

What is Lupin?
Lupinus, commonly called lupine in the U.S. or lupin in Europe and Australia, is a common garden plant genus in the legume family, related to legumes such as peanuts,lentils,beans and peas. There are many different types of lupin. The majority of lupin is used for animal feed. "Sweet lupine" varieties are used in foods.

Some lupin varieties produce seeds which are used in foods.
Lupin seed are high in protein and have the full range of essential amino acids.

Lupin in Food
Lupin Flour 
In many mainland European countries, particularly Italy and France, lupin flour and /or peanut flour may be mixed with Wheat flour in baked goods and pasta. Common uses include bread, pizza, pasta, cookies, cereals, gluten-free products, biscuits, onion rings, tomato sauce, chicken bouillon cubes

Soy Alternative  
Lupin seeds are being recognized as a cheaper alternative to soy, becoming a more popular replacement for soy in recipes and other products. 

Fat Replacement in Food  

Lupine may be added to food as a fat replacement. (U.S. manufacturers will love this).  Researchers in Europe have found new uses for Lupin in low-fat products. 
Think low-fat sausage, low-fat ice cream, cream cheese and low-fat baked goods.

Lupini Beans
In the Mediterranean the yellow legume seed of lupins are called lupini beans.
Popular since Roman times, these beans are often soaked in brine and sold in jars like pickles. They are often eaten as a snack. Cento, an Italian manufacturer sells jars of Lupini Beans. You can find them right here in the United States.  Lupini Beans are very popular in Italy
- of course that is where we will be traveling with our peanut allergic son this summer. 
You can buy a paper cone of lupini beans from a street vendor in Rome.

Lupini Beans are popular as appetizers in many countries including Egypt, Syria. Called "altramuz" in Spain and Argentina and in Italy and Portugal called "tremo├žos"
Tremocos or Lupini Beans
Lebanon call "termos". Turkey and Egypt call "tirmis".
Tirmis sold by street vendor in Egypt
Lupini Beans are incorporated into foods served in restaurants in many countries.
They are used in Soups, Stews, Salads, and Entrees plus Hummus where lupine beans can replace chick peas.
Newly bred variants of "sweet lupins" are widely grown in Germany. The seeds are used in sausages, lupi-tofu and lupin flour. 

Gluten-Free Products
Although mostly unknown by American consumers, lupin is used in the U.S. in many gluten-free and high-protein products. It is not widely used in the U.K.

Lupin Fiber used in South America
Extracted from the grain shell of lupin and used in South American for cereal bars,sausages,bakery products, food supplements and extruded products

Lupin may cause an allergic reaction if you have a peanut allergy ranging from Hives to anaphylactic reactions.

We are traveling to Italy and France this summer. What should I do in order to protect my son? 
We do not know if he is allergic to lupin.  I feel I should have him tested, but "where o where" will I ever find the so far obscure lupini bean in the U.S. much less in Texas. Seriously!
I went into "protective parent" mode and did my research to find lupini beans locally.  I felt in had seen them somewhere....I had the picture of a jar in my head.
YES- success!  Central Market, to their surprise, carries them. I will hop in the car today to purchase them.
Food labeling rules in the EU require pre-packed food sold in the UK or the rest of the European Union (EU) to show clearly on the label if  a product contains lupin (or if one of its ingredients contains it). Lupin has been approved for use in bread flour in Europe since 1997.
Thus I think we will be able to avoid the danger of "packaged food" by reading the labels.

If Alexander proves to be allergic to lupin, the big problem for us will probably be restaurant food and their use of lupini beans or lupin containing foods such a bread and pasta.  Even tomato sauce can contain lupine flour. Ugh!

Plan of Action?
1) See if  our allergist can test our son for an allergy to lupine.
2) See if the jarred of lupini beans will work or if I have to source the raw beans.  I have read online about the difficulty in soaking and cooking these beans so I do hope I won't have to be "chef mom".
3) Order Select Wisely food allergy translation cards for use on our European holiday.

HELP -I have many Europeans who read this blog. I need your help. If you know of foods that contain lupine please tell me using the Comment box below.
Thank you so very much- Julie

Sources  http://www.lupins.org/lupins/
Food Standards Agency http://www.food.gov.uk/ , http://www.fraunhofer.de/en/press/research-news/2010-2011/13/low-fat-lupin-proteins.jsp, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/mnfr.200900365/abstract

14 March 2011

Life Threatening Food Allergies-This video could save a life. Carry an EPIPEN

So many people do not take food allergies seriously. Although food labeling laws in the U.S. have improved accidental exposure and ingestion of life-threatening foods is common.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires food manufacturers 
to list the 8 most common ingredients that trigger food allergies. Most other developed countries have similar rules.
The 8 foods, listed below, account for 90% of allergic reactions.
Tree Nuts such as almonds,cashews,pecans, walnuts)
Shellfish (especially crustaceans)

The deadliest food allergy is to PEANUTS. It is the most common cause of anaphylaxis death in the United States
(see my list Where is the Peanut Hiding)

What is anaphylaxis?
According to Web MD anaphylaxis refers to a rapidly developing and serious allergic reactions that affects a number of different areas of the body at one time.
It can occur after eating only a tiny amount of an allergic food.
The reaction could start with itchy gums or tingling lips, watery eyes, zoning out, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, hives or it can be delayed, slower with the person experience the feeling of "impending doom". (not sure how to describe this one).
In the future I will write a more extensive post on experiencing anaphylaxis.

Severe anaphylactic reactions can be fatal.
Those who have a severe peanut allergy are at risk of having a life-threatening reaction and should strictly avoid peanuts and carry an EpiPen epinephrine auto injector at all times according to multiple web sources as well as allergists. 
My teenage son is allergic to peanuts. Our family policy is to carry 2 EpiPen's. 
Those are the instructions for my son to adhere to although he loathes carrying an EpiPen and has forgotten to carry one more often than I can remember.
Why carry 2?
You may need a 2nd dose,often after 20 minutes or less. (Video link @ end of post)

Thank goodness there is hope for those with Peanut, Milk, Egg and Wheat allergies.

A new TREATMENT is now available. 
My son, Alexander is currently being treated successfully
As of the date of this post he is EATING 12 Peanut Per Day. This is his dosing amount as part of his peanut allergy Treatment Program.

So many precious children and adults have died from a severe allergic reaction to food. It breaks my heart. That is why I am writing this blog. 
I want to get the word out about this new treatment program to everyone, along with all this other food allergy information I can post.

Please send a link to our blog Just A Little Peanut. Pass along to as many people as you can think of 
you don't know who your friends may know with life-threatening food allergies. Think outside the box. The information is useful to people worldwide.
I know of one family planning to move from India to Dallas so their daughter can be treated for her peanut allergy.

Alexander's story and Treatment program is detailed in my blog. 
Click here to go to my Home page where you can perform a search using the word Alexander or click on the titles below for a few of the posts.
Countdown to the BIg Day , Treatment Day 1Peanut Allergy Treatment #3 and #4Countdown to 1 Whole Peanut,  Dose Delayed, Allergic Teen EATS a PEANUT 

Remember you could save a life. Please pass this post via FB, Twitter
Too many people have died due to food allergy to peanuts, tree nuts and other life-threatening food allergies. 

Click here to watch a VIDEO on HOW TO USE AN EPIPEN .

Sources- Mayo Clinic , EpiPen, AllergicChild