In recent years food ingredients containing allergens have, rightly, been receiving increasing attention. Some of the most common foods to be allergic to are milk, eggs, sesame, fish, nuts and peanuts. Funny enough, nuts and peanuts are mentioned separately. You may wonder why. Is a peanut not automatically a nut then?
Well, when we say nuts we actually mean ‘tree nuts’. And peanuts, unlike for instance almonds and walnuts, don’t grow on trees. And even though ‘nut’ is in its name, and their nutritional composition is more similar to that of a tree nut, they are actually not nuts at all, but classified as grain legumes belonging to the family Leguminosae, also known as pulses.
Grain legumes, or pulses, are excellent sources of protein and B vitamins. However, unlike peas and lentils for instance, peanuts contain certain protein molecules to which about 1-2% of the world’s population appear to be allergic. Major peanut allergen Ara h1 can contribute to a reaction as dangerous as an anaphylactic shock. The allergy is usually lifelong and has thus become a major health concern.
That is why label laws worldwide require food packages to list clearly on the ingredient label if the product is or contains peanut. Advisory labeling such as ‘Processed in a facility with peanuts’ is voluntary but not less important. Manufacturers may use these types of statements to indicate concerns that the allergen could be included unintentionally through cross contamination, even when the allergen is not an intended ingredient in the product. It can be dangerous to ignore the advisory warnings since even ‘traces’ of the allergen may cause severe allergic reactions.
In order to avoid any risk of cross contamination, NCP have created a peanut-free facility so that all tree nuts they clean and package are guaranteed to be 100% peanut free. What’s more, they are BRC, IFS and SKAL certified which make them your reliable partner when it comes to tree nut processing! Want to know how we can help you process your tree nuts in our peanut-free facility? Do not hesitate to contact us for a customized solution!