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Daniel More, MD

Allergy to Cooking Oils

By July 30, 2013

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Various kinds of vegetable oils are used in the preparation of many processed and prepared foods, and there have been various reports over the past many years of allergic reactions to these oils. While vegetable oils may actually represent peanut oil, soybean oil, sunflower seed oil, corn oil or palm oil, in many cases prepared foods may list this ingredient simply as "vegetable oil". Generally, vegetable oils are highly refined, meaning that they are processed in such a way to remove the majority of the protein present in the crude (raw) form. It is the protein in foods that act as the allergen, and is responsible for causing allergic reactions as a result of eating the food. The refining of vegetable oils decreases the amount of protein by approximately 100-fold, which significantly decreases the chance of vegetable oils causing allergic reactions. Unfortunately, crude and some refined vegetable oils do contain some vegetable proteins, which may cause allergic reactions in very sensitive people with food allergies.

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