Once an individual develops an allergy, the immune system will wrongly identify a harmless substance as a threat to the body and instigates an attack. Various substances can act as allergens that trigger an allergic response, including household materials, pollen and certain foods. Take note that it is uncommon to develop cocoa allergy which is a flavorful component in chocolate, but it can occur. If an individual has cocoa allergy, it is important to identify the possible food sources in order to help avoid issues as well as maintain good health. If you want to properly manage an allergic reaction, click here.
Always bear in mind that cocoa is produced from the seed or bean of the cacao tree which thrives in tropical regions. The cocoa beans generate a liquid that is dried and then grounded finely to create cocoa powder. The apparent food source of cocoa is chocolate which is a combination of cocoa with other ingredients including cream, milk, sugar and other flavorings.
Dark chocolate is richer in cocoa than milk chocolate but either type can instigate an allergic reaction. You should also be careful with foods that contain chocolate such as chocolate-flavored beverages, hot chocolate, candies, cookies, chocolate cakes and other confections.
Different dessert treats contain cocoa, oftentimes in amounts that are not enough to provide the distinctive brownish color of cocoa. Good examples include gelato that often contains cocoa or other frozen treats.
Watch out for ice cream that does not contain cocoa but flavored with chocolate treats such as chocolate cookie dough. There are also syrups used on pancakes or other foods that might have additional cocoa to boost the flavor. Always check the label if cocoa is present in order to determine the safe foods to eat.
Other sources of cocoa
Take note that there are certain types of flavored alcoholic liquors that might contain cocoa even though it is not part of the name of the beverage. Some coffee-flavored brandies usually contain cocoa as well as other liqueurs in some countries.
There are certain sauces utilized in some cuisine that might contain cocoa even if the flavor is not sweet. The Mexican cuisine is characterized for its palatable, cocoa-infused mole sauce. Cocoa is also utilized as a component of the sweetened plating in some supplements, vitamins and pharmaceuticals, especially those designed for children. The fatty part of the cocoa bean which is called cocoa butter is also added to foods and cosmetics that can trigger an allergic response, thus it is vital to check the labels.
What to expect with cocoa allergy?
If an individual has cocoa allergy and eaten a food that contains cocoa, the individual might experience heartburn, headache, cough, abdominal cramps and skin reactions such as itchiness and hives. In rare occasions, a serious reaction known as anaphylaxis can cause difficulty breathing and other life-threatening symptoms can occur. This would require immediate medical care. Once you suspect that an individual has cocoa allergy, a doctor should be consulted so that appropriate tests can be carried out if the body is reacting to the cocoa or other components present in cocoa-containing foods.