Are we nuts?!!!.

Funny old world isn’t it! In a recent email exchange with an industry colleague we were trying to sort out the correct approach to ingredient declaration taking into account the Allergen labelling regulations that are now in place. It revealed some fascinating facts that seem worth sharing.

The conversation arose when I queried whether the addition of Coconut oil should require a nut allergen notice – but (as many much smarter than I will know) a Coconut is not a nut – it is a fruit. And, despite being called a nut and having milk within it – is not a known allergen.

So, I was sent a list of the nuts that are nuts. Now we are getting there! This is the list compiled by the European Food Safety Authority no less – now these guys should know their nuts from their fruit! But…. and you heard it here first folks…. they don’t!! Nestled amongst the hazel nuts, the macadamia and the pecan was… Brazil nuts. And, Brazil nuts are not nuts – they are seeds! They don’t even come from Brazil – they are mostly grown in Bolivia. Arghhhh! My tin of Quality Street just wouldn’t be the same without the purple Bolivia Nut (doesn’t sound the same does it!).

Confused? Yup, me too. By the way – Peanuts are not nuts either – they are a type of pea (and indeed are such a powerful allergen that they have their own section in the Consumers Regulations). Cashew Nuts – no, not those either – they are fruit – and incidentally are a member of the poison ivy family which is why they are never sold in their skins which are major irritants. Walnuts?? Nope – they are fruit. Pine nuts?? They are seeds.

After a while I decided to give up and slavishly follow the regulations which call fruit and seeds nuts but which recognise nuts as fruit and seeds. As long as I can point to the expert advice in writing at least it will be up to them to explain the inexplicable. As for me… I “shell” go look for another nut to crack!

In other news in the wonderful world of Connect vending

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