Before more fuel is added to the already existing rivalry between vegans and met-eaters known that it not the meat or the vegetables that could out your life in danger but specific ingredient or ingredients in the burger that may prove life-threatening. The latest episode of a burger-eating gone wrong was recorded when two-year-old Libby was brought to the hospital unconscious – her lips crimson and swollen, face puffy, pores and skin mottled, wheezing, with streaming eyes.
Guide allergy specialist Dr Elana Levine initially thought Libby has gone into an anaphylactic shock, an allergy mostly caused by peanuts, given the symptoms. She however found out that the anaphylactic-like response was not because of nut consumption but a result of a spoonful nut-free yogurt, the two-year-old had consumed.
After finishing up additional checks, Dr Levine, found that the culprit was an ingredient Libby’s dad and mom were not aware of: pea protein.
The powdered protein extract from yellow peas – that are grown to be used by the meals business – is discovering its approach into a growing variety of ready-made meals. Protein shakes and snack bars that declare to assist muscle groups get better after train could include it. Extra lately, manufacturers have begun packing it into vegan meat-substitute merchandise resembling burgers and sausages, as the recognition for plant-based diets continues to climb.
Peas, like peanuts, are legumes – and share a few of the similar proteins, hence people who are allergic to peanuts are additionally delicate to pea protein.
Alarmingly, allergy experts say pea protein isn’t the only hazard in some products with ‘healthy’ plant-based credentials. Dr Skypala says: ‘With many ingredients it may be unclear whether a reaction is due to an allergen present in an added ingredient.
‘Other hidden allergens include flavourings such as mustard and celery as well things that add texture, such as a type of flour made from legumes, called lupin.’
Allergic reactions to these are currently rare, but as more allergic people come into contact with them, cases are expected to increase.
‘Food processing can also alter the structure of the proteins in many of these other hidden allergens,’ adds Dr Skypala. ‘This makes the proteins more likely to cause a severe reaction.’ So should peanut allergy patients avoid fake meat and plant-based snacks altogether?
Not necessarily, says Lynne Regent. ‘Not all products contain pea protein’ she says. ‘But if you have a peanut allergy, it’s very important to read the full list of ingredients to look out for it.’