I have been allergic to potatoes as long as I can remember, I can't even breath them or I have an asthma like reaction. I am doing as much research as I can on potatoes because I notice other foods trigger a reaction as well but usually not as severe. tomatoes, peppers, (something I just ate, not sure what ingredient but I am having a reaction) and others. I am not sure about additives but I have noticed lately potatoes come up in strange things. If you eat canned tuna fish the "vegetable broth" can contain potato. I had to email chicken of the sea to find this out. Almost all shredded cheese has potato starch, and now I have even noticed some bread with potato yeast. I don't know if this helps or not, but good luck.
Ever since I wrote this post, I've been doing further research as well. I did notice that shredded cheese has potato starch. Who knew? Also, I've noticed that potato starch can be in processed meats such as kobasa.
I've also learned that maltodextrin is a derivative of potato and dextrose can be a derivative of potato (or corn). So, you may want to look out for those ingredients.
Good to know about vegetable broth. I do love my tuna.
I have always been allergic to potatos and potato products (potato flour and potato starch etc.). I cannot eat them or breathe them when they are coking. The reaction has grown in severity with age and exposure where it now almost automatically results in a severe (sometimes anaphylactic response).
I have resorted to reading all food ingredients and asking for ingredients in all that I eat, especially restaurants. Here is a quick list of products where I have discovered, sometimes at my own peril, potato products in the food. Manufacturers change their ingredients also depending on what is available and the cost, so do not take for granted that products will remain allergy-free. Such potato-laden products have included:
- pepperoni (pizzas) and kolbasa
- hot dog wieners
- gravy thickeners
- certain cheap chocolates
- many canned soups (Knorr especially)
- onion rings at the US A&W outlets (not always same in Canada)
- salad dressings (Cesar salad especially)
- soda crackers
- different varieties of cold cuts
- certain frozen tortellinis and raviolis
- most Tim Horton donuts (glaze and content of donut) and was advised to avoid most if not all of their products
- seasoning for certain boxed taco packages
- certain well known canned tomato sauces for spaghetti
I may be able to add to the list as I spend more time thinking about it but you really need to be careful about what you it. Label reading is absolutely critical as is requesting information in restaurants before consuming anything.
I have also had to check the non-medicinal contents of certain pills which may contain corn starch - so far no potato starches.
I've had a potato allergy all my life (along with many, many other obscure allergies). I'm allergic to the entire Solanaceae, Cashew, and Pepper food families, as well as others. <removed>
Here are a few things to watch out for. They can be derived from potato (or corn, tapioca). Any of those things can be in foods OR MEDICINE. Pregelatinized starch is in benadryl (the allergy medicine). Dextrose can be in IV fluids.
dextrose, dextrin, dextran, maltodextrin, polydextrose
starch, modified food starch, pregelatinized starch, sodium starch glycolate
When I was in high school, I was sick all the time, and we could not figure out why. My mom did some research, and found out that there was potato starch in a medication I was taking daily! My allergist said that there was "no way" I could be allergic to the potato starch, since it is supposedly the protein that causes an allergic reaction. My mother did not believe the dismissive doctor, so she called the manufacturer of potato starch. The manufacturer told her that there is no way to make the starch 100% pure, so there can always be traces of the protein. He was the one who also told us about the possibility of potato dextrose being in foods and medicines.
I'm not sure what food/medicine labeling requirements are like in Canada, but in the US, manufacturers do not have to specify the source of the dextrose, starch, etc. I wish I could push for stricter labeling regulations! The only thing I can do for now is contact the manufacturer to find out the source of the starch/dextrose/etc. If the company cares enough, they will do a little digging to find out if it is potato or not.
Last edited by mod-anon; 09-09-2009 at 08:01 PM.
Reason: do not post outside websites
When I was 2 years old, my mother fed me a spoonful of potatoes and I reacted very severly and nearly died. By the time I got to the hospital, I had turned blue and I almost stopped breathing. They saved me with an injection of adrenaline (a.k.a. epinephrine). Eventually, the doctors diagnosed me with something they called "tuber root food allergy". I've spent the rest of my life avoiding potatoes (I'm 50 now), but on many occassions, I have eaten potatoes or foods containing potatoes by mistake. When I was young (up to age 14), I didn't notice right away and sometimes had to go to the hospital for a shot. As I grew older, I began to recognize the smell or taste or the reaction on my lips or tongue and would get out of the room or stop eating the food immediately.
Unfortunately, the only solution I have found is to read the ingredients on every food product I purchase. In restaurants I have to ask, but they are often wrong, so I avoid foods that might contain potatoes (e.g. stew). I always ask for burgers with no fries, but the servers usually forget and I have to send back the whole plate because even the greese on the plate is enough to bother me. When they lie and just brush the fries off, I still get sick. Eventually I stopped ordering burgers because I can't trust the servers.
The doctors told me that other tuber root vegatables (vegetables that grow under ground - carrots, beats, onions, etc.) would also make me sick too, but they don't seem to bother me too much. I guess the poison is most prevelent in potatoes. But I have had trouble with water chestnuts, which I found out is a "water tuber".
Funny thing is that my (maternal) grandmother also had the alergy. She was born in Coaticook, Canada (I have no idea where that is) in October 1900. Her maiden name was Major. I seem to remember my mother telling me once that the allergy skips a generation like other genetic traits (like having twins). So I guess this allergy is genetic.
When I reached my 40's I finally learned that packaged or processed foods are not the best for you anyway and I started to eat mostly only fresh fruits, vegetables (above ground only), nuts, dairy products and meats. So, most of the time, I don't have to read labels anymore.
Forgot to post this...some sugar used to be made from sugar beets (a tubor food), so I would get sick eating anything with sugar made from sugar beets. Lately though, most sugar is made from Sugar Cane. All the C&H white and brown sugar is not made from beets, so I stick with that...I prefer the C&H brown sugar.