Allergy to Chocolate

Chocolate Allergy is rare

Chocolate is commonly seen as an allergenic food. But, very few actual allergies to chocolate have been documented. Yet, chocolate has been blamed for a range of allergic reactions.

ny allergy dr discusses allergy to chocolate

These allergic reactions are most commonly

  • abdominal cramps,
  • angioedema,
  • coughs,
  • hypotension,
  • itching,
  • migraines,
  • and urticaria (hives).

A true intolerance or allergy to chocolate or cocoa would have to be to either the cocoa mass or the cocoa butter. When assessing problems with chocolate, these are rarely checked independently of other ingredients. Chocolate is often mixed with peanuts, tree nuts and dairy. All of which are more common allergy triggers. In 2012, there was an independent study that suggested that chocolate allergy was in actuality an allergy to cockroaches.  Researchers found large numbers of bug parts ground into chocolate. Unfortunately, these insect parts are found in most batches of chocolate. Read more about this contamination and resulting reactions in this LiveScience article.

Eating a chocolate bar or drinking hot chocolate is NOT the way to test for a ‘chocolate’ intolerance. Intolerance problems with chocolate can be caused by any ingredient or naturally occurring chemical. The ingredients that can cause problems include flavorings, milk and emulsifiers. The chemicals include caffeine and theobromine, phenylethylamine, and tyramine.

An ImmunoCAP, epicutaneous or skin prick test should be taken to determine the specific source of the allergies.  A skin allergy test is just one method for the medical diagnosis of allergies. The skin test itself introduces a minute amount of allergen attempting to provoke a controlled allergic reaction.

If you have questions about food allergy symptoms or about a reaction you or a family member have experienced to chocolate, feel free to contact my office for a consultation. You can book online here. Or call my office at 212-247-7447.