Great Smokies Medical Center of Asheville

Sources of Corn and Corn By-Products

Corn is likely the most common food allergen for adults and children in the United States, and is also likely the most difficult to avoid. Corn and corn by-products can be ingested, inhaled (fumes of popping corn) and contacted (some bath powders, laundry starches, adhesives on stamps and envelopes). At first thought many people think the elimination of corn from their diet is easy-just stop eating corn. Once you consider cornstarch, corn syrup, and corn oil, you can see that corn and its food derivatives are in all types of foods. Not all of the following products have corn in all brand names, but proprietary recipes change frequently making it unwise to list brands here. Read labels. Some words on labels that tell you corn may in a food are: dextrose, glucose, dextrin, maltodextrin, lecithin, fructose, high fructose, vegetable starch, “thickeners”, sweeteners, syrup, vegetable oil, maize, and sorbitol.

Dietary sources of corn

* Many baby foods
* Bakery products (breads, rolls, biscuits, doughnuts, pies, cakes, cookies, pretzels, etc.)
* Brewed beverages (bourbon, beer, ale)
* Carbonated beverages (high fructose corn syrup)
* Cheese spreads and cheese foods
* Prepared cereals
* Condiments (ketchup, steak sauce, chili sauce, mayonnaise, tartar sauce, salad dressings)
* Chewing gum
* Baking powder
* Prepared mixes (pancake, waffle, biscuit, cake flour, puddings)
* Gravies and sauces
* Canned soups and dehydrated soup mixes
* Coffee “creamers” and designer coffee drinks
* Sweetened condensed milk
* Cordials and liqueurs
* Most commercially prepared desserts
* Fruits (commercially canned, candied, frozen, pie fillings, jams, jellies, marmalades, preserves) * Fruit “drinks” and some fruit juices are sweetened with corn by-products
* Frostings and icings
* Oriental foods typically contain cornstarch as a thickener
* Cornmeal
* Powdered sugar
* Tortillas
* Distilled vinegar
* Grits
* Some shortenings
* Many distilled products-gin, vodka, whiskey
* Instant coffee
* Infant formulas
* Many fried foods are fried in corn oil
* Candy (Corn is present in virtually all candy, particularly when a smooth texture is present at room temperature)
* Ice cream, sherbets, and sorbets
* Marshmallows
* Meats (cured meats, luncheon meats, sausages, bologna, bacon, ham, wieners)
* Pickles, if sweetened
* Peanut butter is often sweetened with corn by-products
* Frozen seafood
* Instant iced tea mixes
* Sweetened ice tea
* Table salt if commercially prepared (but sea salt)
* Low calorie sweeteners
* Most snack foods
* Caramel coloring
* Frozen or dried eggs
* Flavoring extracts
* Canned vegetables
* Gelatin desserts
* Some nutritional supplements, unless labeled otherwise
* Fruit pectin
* Popcorn
* Corn oil
* Cornstarch
* Monosodium glutamate
* Sorbitol (in candies and toothpaste)
* Prepared mustards
* Hominy
* Margarine
* Wine coolers

Non-food corn contacts:

* Adhesives-stamps, envelopes, stickers, tape
* Aspirin
* Talcum powder (talc, baby powders, powder inside medical latex gloves)
* Paper cups
* Toothpaste (substitute baking soda)
* Medicines (syrups, ointments, lozenges)
* Fillers in encapsulated medicines
* “Placebo” for control groups in drug trials/research
* Laundry starch
* Chalk
* Livestock and poultry feed

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