Eggs

Eggs are listed as a priority allergen in Canada. This page focuses on facts specific to egg allergy, available resources, and special considerations related to this allergen.

On this page:Statistics and facts on egg allergy >
Egg allergy reference guide >
    Terms that may indicate the presence of eggs
    Foods that are likely and possible sources of eggs
    Possible sources of eggs in commonly used products
    Cooking without eggs and egg replacement
Helpful resources and egg-free recipes >

Data and statistics on egg allergy

  • Egg allergy affects 1% of children under 18 years of age and 0.5% of adults in Canada[i].
  • Up to 80% of egg allergies are outgrown by the age of 18[ii].
  • 60% to 70% of people with egg allergy can tolerate eggs when cooked and included in a recipe (e.g., muffins, cakes, cookies)[iii]. Heat alters the structure of certain allergenic proteins in eggs and the allergenic potential is decreased. The combination of multiple ingredients and the presence of wheat makes the allergenic molecules in eggs less recognisable by IgE[iv].
  • Children who tolerate cooked egg are more likely to outgrow their allergy than those who do not [v].
  • The allergenic proteins in eggs are present in both the yolk and the white, but the yolk is considered less allergenic.[vi].
  • Over twenty different proteins have been identified in eggs [vii]. Ovalbumin, ovomucoid, ovomucin, and lysozyme are considered the most allergenic.
  • With the exception of the yellow fever vaccine, the Quebec Immunization Protocol does not consider egg allergy as a medical contraindication to vaccination. Although some vaccines are also manufactured using chicken embryos (influenza, MMR (measles, rubella and mumps) and Rabevert (rabies), current evidence indicates that egg proteins found in vaccines manufactured using chicken embryos are insufficient to induce an allergic reaction.
  • Some medication may contain egg-based ingredients. For example, Diprivan® (propofol), which is used for anaesthesia and sedation, contains egg phosphatidate[ix]. Caution should be exercised when administering such drugs to people with egg allergy.

Eggs REFERENCE GUIDE

Eggs REFERENCE GUIDE, PDF format (0,5 Mo) (in French)
 
Terms that may indicate the presence of eggs (non-exhaustive list)
AlbumenMayonnaiseAlbumin powder
Egg albuminMeringueEgg powder
Egg whiteOvalbuminOvolactohydrolyzed proteins
ConalbuminOvoglobulinQuiches
GlobulinOvomacroglobulinSilico-albuminate
Egg yolkOvomucineSimpless®
EggnogOvomucoidEgg substitutes (e.g. Egg Beaters®, yolk, etc.)
LivetinOvotransferrinEgg
LysozymeOvovitellinLiquid eggs
Animal lecithinEgg white powderEgg lecithin
Egg yolk powder  
Health Canada’s food allergen labelling regulations established in 2012 prohibit use of the following terms: Manufacturers must declare the presence of eggs in the list of ingredients, either on the label of their product or in the words “Contains”. However, it is important to keep those terms in mind when travelling, as regulations vary from one country to another. In some cases, it may also be useful to know them when we are offered homemade or artisanal products.
Foods that are likely sources of eggs (non-exhaustive list)
AlbuminMeringuesOvaltine®
CustardFresh pasta productsSauces
English creamMilk puddingSalad dressing
Pastry creamNougatMeat substitutes
Cream-filled dessertsOrange Julep® 
Foods that are possible sources of eggs (non-exhaustive list)
Binding and filling agents (used in meat, poultry, and fish preparations)ConfectionsBaked products and muffins
Baby foodIce CreamSeafood imitation products (e.g. crab-flavoured pollock)
CookiesCheese (with lysozyme)Sausages
Artisanal spruce and malt beersGlazingFlavoring
Alcoholic drinks and cocktailsLecithinMaple syrup
Hard candiesFoam/whipped coffee fillingSorbets
Broths and wines clarified with egg whites (fining)Blends for malted beveragesSoups
BretzelsBreadcrumbsPatisserie
Deli meatsPasta productsSalad dressing
CocktailsPastries 
Possible sources of eggs in commonly used products (non-exhaustive list)
Anesthetics such as Diprivan® (propofol)Arts and crafts materialsHaircare products
Some vaccines (e. g. measles-rubella-mumps)Medicines 
Note: To find out if common products contain eggs, it is important to read the labels and contact the manufacturer. Food allergen labelling regulations apply only to packaged foods, they do not apply to non-food products.
 
Egg replacements and cooking without eggs

As a binder:

  • ½ mashed banana
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds + 3 tablespoons warm water (let
    stand 1 minute before using)
  • ¼ cup apple sauce or pureed fruit
  • 1 sachet of unflavoured gelatine + 2 tablespoons (30 ml)
    water
  • Commercial egg replacements (e.g. Celimix®, Ener-g®). Be
    careful
    not to confuse this with egg substitutes,
    which contain egg

As a raising agent:

  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) baking powder + 1 ½ tablespoon water + 1 ½
    tablespoon vegetable oil or vinegar
  • Commercial egg replacements (e.g. Celimix®, Ener-g®). Be
    careful
    not to confuse these with egg substitutes,
    which contain eggs.

Egg-free recipes and resources

Recipes

Resources

[i] Soller, S et coll. (2015). Adjusting for nonresponse bias corrects overestimates of food allergy prevalence. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 3(2), 291-293. DOI 10.1016/j.jaip.2014.11.006
[ii] Savage, J. H. et coll. (2008). The natural history of egg allergy. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 120(6):1413-1417. Repéré à DOI 10.1016/j.jaci.2007.09.040
[iii] Association des allergologues et immunologues du Québec. (2016). Allergie à l’œuf de poule. Repéré à http://www.allerg.qc.ca/Information_allergique/3_3d_oeuf.html
[iv] Kosti, R. I. et coll. (2012). Food allergen selective thermal regimens may change oral tolerance in infancy. Allergologia and Immunopathologia, 41(6). Repéré à DOI 10.1016/j.aller.2012.08.011
[v] Dang, T. D. et coll. (2016). Debates in allergy medicine: baked egg and milk do not accelerate tolerance to egg and milk. World Allergy Organization Journal, 9:2. Repéré à DOI 10.1186/s40413-015-0090-z
[vi] Benedé, S. et coll. (2015). Egg proteins as allergens and the effects of the food matrix and processing. Food & Function, 6:694-713. Repéré à DOI 10.1039/c4fo01104j
[vii] Mine, Y. et Yang, M. (2008). Recent advances in the understanding of egg allergens: basic, industrial and clinical perspective. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 56(13):4874-4900. Repéré à DOI 10.1021/jf8001153
[viii] Chapitre 1 – 1.2.2.1 Allergie à l’un des composants du vaccin. (2016). Protocole d’immunisation du Québec. Repéré à http://publications.msss.gouv.qc.ca/msss/fichiers/piq/html/web/Piq.htm#Allergie_composants_vaccin.htm
[ix] Astra Zeneca. (2012). Monographie du Diprivan® [PDF]. Repéré à https://www.astrazeneca.ca/content/dam/azca/frenchassets/Ourmedicines/Diprivan%20-%20Monographie.pd…

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To get the latest news and benefit from free services, subscribe to  Allergy Quebec’s newsletter. By doing so, you will automatically become a member of the association free of charge.