Peanuts

Peanuts are listed as a priority allergen in Canada. This page focuses on facts specific to peanut allergy, available resources, and special considerations related to this allergen.
On this page: Facts about peanut allergy >
Peanut allergy reference guide >
     Terms that may indicate the presence of peanuts
     Foods that are likely sources of peanuts
     Possible sources of peanuts in commonly used products
     Substituting peanuts in your diet
Peanut-free recipes and resources >

Facts about peanut allergy

  • Contrary to popular belief, peanuts are not nuts, but legumes.
  • Peanut allergy is estimated to affect 2.4% of children and 0.7% of adults[ii].
  • It is estimated that 20% of children allergic to peanuts will outgrow their allergy with time [iii]. Unfortunately, there is a risk of recurrence of the outgrown allergy, when the food is not included regularly in the diet. This should be discussed with an allergist [iv].
  • People with peanut allergies usually tolerate other legumes such as peas, lentils, and beans.
  • It is estimated that 25% to 40% of individuals allergic to peanuts are also allergic to tree nuts[v]. These are considered two separate allergies.
  • By 2016, 17 allergenic proteins capable of inducing an allergic reaction had been identified in peanuts [vi]. A person with peanut allergy may react to one or more of these proteins.
  • Except for vegetarians and vegans, a single allergy to peanuts does not present a risk of nutritional deficiency. However, when multiple allergies are present, consultation with a nutritionist is important. The nutritionist can work to ensure a healthy, balanced diet despite multiple restrictions.

Peanut REFERENCE GUIDE

Peanut REFERENCE GUIDE, PDF version (0,5 Mo) (in French)
Cross-allergies with peanuts
Other legumes (peas, lentils, beans)
Terms that may indicate the presence of peanuts (non-exhaustive list)
Groundnut-I Mandelonas Arachin
Artificial nuts Peanut butter Crushed nuts
Peanut Accompanying nuts Kernels (shelled nuts)
Nu-NutsTM Conarachin Pistachios
Peanut flour Vegetable groundnut proteins Grains
Hydrolyzed peanut vegetable proteins Peanut oil Valencia
Health Canada’s food allergen labelling regulations established in 2012 prohibit use of the these terms. Manufacturers must clearly indicate the presence of peanuts in their product using the words “Contains” or “May contain.” However, it is important to keep these 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 artisanal products.
Foods that are likely sources of peanuts (non-exhaustive list)
Almonds (mandelonas) Almond icing Seasonings
Dehydrated soups or sauces in sachets (with peanut flavourings) Grenoble nuts (dearomatized peanuts, rearomatized) Thai or Asian dishes (e.g. imperial or spring rolls, sauce)
Chocolate Biscuits Cereals
Nougat Chili (ready-made meal) Pastry
Ice cream Almond or hazelnut paste Frozen desserts
Marzipan Dragees Viennese pastries
Foods that are possible sources of peanuts (non-exhaustive list)
Mixed nuts Chicha
Possible sources of peanuts in commonly used products (non-exhaustive list)
Ant bait Drugs, vitamins, and supplements Cosmetics
Mushroom growing media Creams and sunscreens Toy stuffing
Food for animals and birds Mousetrap Handicraft materials
Note: To find out if common products contain peanuts, 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.
Peanuts replacements and cooking without peanuts
  • Peanuts: roasted chickpeas, sunflower seeds, cashews, soy nuts, almonds, macadamia nuts (in the absence of a nut allergy)
  • Peanut butter: sunflower seed butter, hummus, nut butter (in the absence of a nut allergy), soy butter, pea butter
* The lists of foods and ingredients presented in the table are not exhaustive and are given for information only.

Recipes and resources for people with peanut allergy

Recipes

Resources

Subscribe for free to food recall notices from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency [http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/util/listserv/listsube.shtml?foodrecalls_rappelsaliments] and MAPAQ (in French). [1] National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease. (2017). Addendum guidelines for the prevention of peanut allergy in the United States. Repéré à https://www.niaid.nih.gov/sites/default/files/peanut-allergy-prevention-guidelines-parent-summary.pd… [ii] 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 [iii] Skolnick, H. S. et coll. (2001). The natural history of peanut allergy. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 107(2), 367-74. DOI 10.1067/mai.2001.112129 [iv] Fleischer, D. M. et coll. (2003). The natural progression of peanut allergy : Resolution and the possibility of reccurence. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 112(1), 183-89. DOI 10.1067/mai.2003.1517 [v] Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE). (2016). Peanut Allergy. Repéré à https://www.foodallergy.org/allergens/peanut-allergy [vi] Bavaro, S. L. et Monaci, L. (2016). Peanut allergy and strategies for allergenicity reduction. Austin Journal of Allergy, 3(1), 1022.