Chocolate allergy contrary to popular belief, is a very rare food allergy. Complaints can range from headache, heartburn, stomachache and in some cases anaphylaxis. More likely you can be allergic to another ingredient in chocolate or you may be intolerant to chocolate.
To make cacao beans, they are roasted, grounded and melted into chocolate liquor. Sometimes the liquor is further processed to make cocoa solids and cocoa butter, both of which are dairy free. Unsweetened chocolate has no other ingredients added, while dark and semi-sweet chocolate is usually sweetened with sugar.
It’s whats added to chocolate later that can pose a problem with people with food allergies. Milk and white chocolate contain dairy. Some of the other common ingredients that can be found in chocolate include:
- Dairy- milk solids, milk powder, butter oil, cream, whey
- Soy- soy lecithin
- Nuts- any type (chopped, whole or ground)
- Gluten- barley malt, wheat flour
Even if a particular chocolate doesn’t list or contain any top allergens in the ingredients, chocolate products tend to have a high rate of cross contamination in manufacturing. An example would be dark chocolate run on a line immediately following milk chocolate or chocolate with nuts.
Although chocolate allergy is extremely rare it can be tested for in an allergists office. Cacao bean, chocolate allergy can be tested via the skin prick method or by IgE blood testing. If you do experience a reaction after eating chocolate, it would be important to test for all other potential food allergy triggers as well. The most common food allergies are, milk, wheat, soy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish and fish. If you are diagnosed with a chocolate allergy or any type of food allergy, it is important to read all food labels and avoid the food entirely. All food allergy patients should always carry an injectable epinephrine in case of accidental ingestion.
For all question regarding chocolate allergy or any food allergies, speak to your local allergy doctor.