Yeasts and moulds are tiny single-celled fungi, belonging to the same biological group as mushrooms. The inhalation of fungal spores is a common cause of allergic rhinitis and allergic asthma. Some individuals who are highly sensitive to inhaled fungal spores can experience urticaria (hives) and in extreme cases anaphylactic reactions, after ingesting foods containing yeasts and moulds. Yeasts are used in the production of fermented foods and beverages. Moulds colonies often grow on the surface of moist foods, such as bread. Mould is also used in the production of some foods to add flavour. The management of yeast allergies or a mould allergy requires the elimination of foods that contain yeast or mould, from the diet.
FOODS WHICH CONTAIN YEAST.
These foods either have yeast as one of their ingredients, are fermented using yeast, or are related to yeast and should be avoided.
– Foods containing yeast extract: Vegemite, marmite, Bovril, stock cubes, packet soups- read labels carefully.
– All raised doughs: Breads, buns, rolls, cracker biscuits, Lebanese bread, pitta bread, muffins, crumpets, cakes.
– Fermented drinks: All beers, wines, champagne, spirits, ginger-beers, ciders, home-made beers and wines.
– Supplements of yeast or Vitamin B complex: (unless specifically stated to be yeast-free)
– Fermented sauces: Soy sauce, Worstershire sauce, Chinese rice wine and H.P. sauce
– Fermented Vinegars: Apple, distilled white wine, grape and cider. Foods containing these vinegars: salad dressings, shrimp sauce, mayonnaise, pickles, barbecue sauce, tomato sauce, olives, pickled beets, chilli sauce.
– Small goods: Pickled and smoked meats and fish, including many processed delicatessen foods e.g. Devon, Frankfurts and corned beef
– Malt:flavoured confectionary, beverages
FOODS WHICH ARE FREE OF YEAST
– Homemade foods: leavened with baking powder or baking soda, such as cakes, biscuits and pancakes
– Sour dough breads: Now commercially available (eg. Rye or triticale sour-dough breads).
– Commercial foods: Vita Wheat, Weston’s Ryvita, Arnott’s Whole Wheat Crispbread, Carr’s Water Biscuits, Nabisco Ritz – be sure to check food labels carefully.
Peel all root vegetables and fresh fruit before eating
The main reason stored food begins to spoil is due to contamination with mould (e.g. mouldy bread). Some foods contain mould as part of their flavouring (e.g. cheese). Below are some tips for reducing exposure to mould.
Common food sources of mould:
– Cheese – parmesan, brie, camembert, blue-vein or cottage cheese. (Creamed cheese and mild cheddars are acceptable)
– Breads and other foods made with yeast
– Nuts (unless they are roasted)
– Dried fruit e.g. dates, prunes, figs, sultanas. (This includes within cake mixes and breakfast cereals. Canned or preserved fruit is acceptable)
– Fermented, aged or smoked foods
– Sour cream and sour milk
– Sugar based products e.g. jam (vulnerable to mould colonization)
Tips for avoiding mould:
– Eat only freshly opened food
– Peel all root vegetables and fresh fruit before eating.
– Check foods for signs of mould before eating them. If there are signs of mould, do not eat. Washing off mould is not sufficient.
– Always check cheeses for signs of mould, even if mould is not used in the cheese production. It is not sufficient to cut out the mouldy section, as mould filaments and products of mould growth can still be present.
– Avoid eating home-cooked foods that have been refrigerated for over 48 hours.
– Discard any food that is obviously spoiled by mould, especially over-ripe melons and other fruits
– Buy meat/fish daily if possible, eat within 24 hours or freeze immediately.
– Drink freshly brewed tea/coffee.
– Do not smell foods to see if they are spoilt with mould as inhaling mould spores may trigger an allergic episode
At Australian Allergy Centre, we provide Yeast and mould allergy testing in our Bella Vista and Bondi Junction clinics.