The Avoidance List


You should see the look on people’s faces when they see Blythe’s Avoidance List for the first time.  It almost always renders them speechless, and then, incredulous, they ask me how on Earth I feed her.

Here’s how: We don’t go anywhere without the list.  Whenever I learn about another ingredient that might either contain corn or be manufactured with corn, I pull up my little Microsoft Excel spreadsheet and I add it, print it, and send the updated version to everyone who needs it: grandparents, teachers, doctors, pharmacists, and then I put the new copy in my purse, where it quickly becomes tattered from constant use.

If you are corn allergic, or think you might be, start with this list.  It is by no means complete – manufacturers are constantly changing the way they make things.  But it’s a good place to start, and it’s a lifesaver for us.

acetic acid distilled white vinegar
alcohol drying agent
alpha tocopherol erythorbic acid
artificial flavorings erythritol
artificial sweeteners ethanol
ascorbates ethocel 20
ascorbic acid ethylcellulose
astaxanthin ethylene
baking powder ethyl acetate
barley malt *  MAY be contaminated ethyl alcohol
bleached flour * MAY be contaminated ethyl lactate
blended sugar ethyl maltol
brown sugar * IF caramel color is used fiberson-2
calcium citrate flavorings * UNLESS specified
calcium fumarate food starch
calcium gluconate fructose * MAY be contaminated
calcium lactate fruit juice concentrate * UNLESS specified
calcium magnesium acetate (CMA) fumaric acid
calcium searate germ/germ meal
calcium stearoyl lactylate gluconate
caramel and caramel color gluconic acid
carbonmethylcellulose sodium glucono delta-lactone
cellulose microcrystalline gluconolactone
cellulose, methyl glucosamine
cellulose, powdered glucose * MAY be contaminated
cetearyl glucoside glucose syrup
choline chloride glutamate
citric acid * MAY be contaminated gluten
citrus cloud emulsion (CCS) gluten feed/meal
coco glycerides glycerides
confectioners sugar glycerol
corn alcohol, corn gluten glycerine * MAY be contaminated
corn extract golden syrup
corn flour grits
corn oil or margarine high fructose corn syrup
corn starch hominy
corn sweetener, corn sugar honey * MAY be contaminated
corn syrup or solids hydrolized corn
corn, popcorn, cornmeal hydrolized corn protein
cornstarch, corn flour hydrolized vegetable protein (HVP) 
crosscarmellose sodium hydroxypropyl methylcellulose
crystalline dextrose hydroxypropyl methylcellulose pthalate
crystalline fructose inositol
cyclodextrin inverty syrup or sugar
DATUM iodized salt (table salt)
decyl clocoside lactate
decyl polyglucose lactic acid
dextrin lauryl glocoside
dextrose ANYTHING lecithin 
d-gluconic acid linoleic acid
diglyceride lysine
magnesium fumarate sorbitan monooleate
maize sorbitan tri-oleate
malic acid sorbitol
malonic acid sorghum * MAY be mixed with corn
malt syrup from corn starch * UNLESS specified
malt, malt extract stearic acid
maltitol stearoyls
maltodextrin sucrose
maltol sugar * IF not identified as cane or beet
maltose threonine
mannitol tocopherol (vitamin E)
methyl gluceth treacle (aka golden syrup)
methyl glucose triethyl citrate
methyl clucoside unmodified starch
methylcellulose vanilla, natural flavoring
microcrystaline cellulose vanilla, pure or extract
modified cellulose gum vanillin
modified corn starch vegetable – (anything not specified)
moddified food starch vinegar, distilled white
mono and di glycerides  vinyl acetate
monosodium glutamate (MSG)  vitamin C * MAY be contaminated
MSG vitamin E * MAY be contaminated
natural flavorings * UNLESS specified vitamins * MAY be contaminated
olestra/olean xantham gum
polenta xylitol
polydextrose yeast * MAY be contaminated
polylactic acid (PLA) yuba
polysorbates zea mays
polyvinyl acetate zein
potassium citrate  
potassium fumarate  
potassium gluconate  
powdered sugar  
pregelatinaized starch  
propionic acid  
propylene glycol  
propylene glycol monostearate  
salt (iodized salt)  
semolina (unless from wheat)  
sodium carboxymethylcellulose  
sodium citrate  
sodium erythorbate  
sodium fumarate  
sodium lactate  
sodium starch glycolate  
sodium stearoyl fumarate  
sorbic acid  

8 Comments to “The Avoidance List”

  1. Maura says:

    Congrats on getting up and running!

    I wish you could see my face — because I’m intimidated by that list. Until you started telling me about everything corn is in, I had no idea. I’m a lot more aware of it now, but still, the list is staggering.

  2. Ronda says:

    So sugar in stuff is always from corn, unless it’s beet or cane? How do they get sugar from corn? Wow that is quite a list. Looking forward to learning more about corn and what it is in!

  3. Andrea says:

    Hi Ronda,
    It’s not necessarily made *from* corn, but it is manufactured *with* corn, if that makes sense. Corn is a highly effective preservative – second only to formaldehyde! And it is also very sweet – one of the reasons mainstream sodas have corn syrup as their first or second ingredient!

  4. khaela says:

    So, what do you guys do for laundry detergent? I am trying without success to find one that doesn’t contain sodium citrate.

  5. khaela says:

    Another question: is the microcrystalline cellulose in Zyrtec not a problem, maybe because it’s such a small amount, or possible derived of a different substance than corn? It sounds like your child is so sensitive that you’d certainly know if it was problematic, maybe that means it’s okay.
    Thanks for this helpful site!

  6. Jeannie says:

    If a product has corn listed as an ingredient, with germ removed, is this safe for someone with a corn allergy to eat?

  7. V says:

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    Your blog seems to be very selfish.

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