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Complete Corn Allergy List: 184 Derivatives, Food, Products, Uses

Corn is a foundational ingredient of the North American diet. No, I’m not talking about corn on the cob or popcorn. But the countless derivatives of starch and sugar, flours, and oils.

In this corn allergy list, you’ll learn about all the corn derivatives and products including starch, sugar, acid, natural flavor, flours, and oils. I share my research about all the derivatives and uses of corn in the modern diet. It’s my goal to make this the most complete corn allergy list. 

corn allergy list

Corn has become one of the most common ingredients in the North American diet. Here’s how corn has made its way into almost every aspect of our food supply.

Complete Corn Allergy List

This post is a work in progress. If you have a suggested addition, please comment below. Please include a link to a reference. I’ll be adding links to as many of the items in the list below in the coming months. 

On a personal note, I’ve had a corn allergy since I was young. This post and subsequent articles are a collection of our research and tests.

Corn Derivatives

The base of this list is based on the now-defunct cornallergens.com and livecornfree.com

Not everything on this list will contain corn. These ingredients can contain corn and may need to be avoided completely (or used cautiously). Items identified with an asterisk * are the most common items that might not always contain or be derived from corn.

  1. Acetic acid
  2. Alcohol
  3. Alpha tocopherol
  4. Artificial flavorings
  5. Artificial sweeteners
  6. Ascorbates
  7. Ascorbic acid
  8. Aspartame (Artificial sweetener)
  9. Astaxanthin
  10. Baking powder
  11. Barley malt* (generally OK, but can be contaminated)
  12. Bleached flour*
  13. Blended sugar (sugaridextrose)
  14. Brown sugar* (generally OK if no caramel color)
  15. Calcium citrate
  16. Calcium fumarate
  17. Calcium gluconate
  18. Calcium lactate
  19. Calcium magnesium acetate (CMA)
  20. Calcium stearate
  21. Calcium stearoyl lactylate
  22. Caramel and caramel color
  23. Carbonmethylcellulose sodium
  24. Cellulose microcrystalline
  25. Cellulose, methyl
  26. Cellulose, powdered
  27. Cetearyl glucoside
  28. Choline chloride
  29. Citric acid* Here’s more about this product and how it’s made.
  30. Citrus cloud emulsion (CCS)
  31. Coco glycerides (cocoglycerides)
  32. Confectioners sugar
  33. Corn alcohol, corn gluten
  34. Corn extract
  35. Corn flour
  36. Corn oil, corn oil margarine
  37. Corn starch
  38. Corn sweetener, corn sugar
  39. Corn syrup, corn syrup solids
  40. Corn, popcorn, cornmeal
  41. Cornstarch, cornflour
  42. Crosscarmellose sodium
  43. Crystalline dextrose
  44. Crystalline fructose
  45. Cyclodextrin
  46. DATUM (a dough conditioner)
  47. Decyl glucoside
  48. Decyl polyglucose
  49. Dextrin
  50. Dextrose (also found in IV solutions)
  51. Dextrose anything (such as monohydrate or anhydrous)
  52. d-Gluconic acid
  53. Distilled white vinegar
  54. Drying agent
  55. Erythorbic acid
  56. Erythritol
  57. Ethanol
  58. Ethocel 20
  59. Ethylcellulose
  60. Ethylene
  61. Ethyl acetate
  62. Ethyl alcohol
  63. Ethyl lactate
  64. Ethyl maltol
  65. Fibersol-2
  66. Flavorings*
  67. Food starch
  68. Fructose*
  69. Fruit juice concentrate*
  70. Fumaric acid
  71. Germ/germ meal
  72. Gluconate
  73. Gluconic acid
  74. Glucono delta-lactone
  75. Gluconolactone
  76. Glucosamine
  77. Glucose*
  78. Glucose syrup* (also found in IV solutions)
  79. Glutamate
  80. Gluten
  81. Gluten feed/meal
  82. Glycerides
  83. Glycerin*
  84. Glycerol
  85. Golden syrup
  86. Grits
  87. High fructose corn syrup
  88. Hominy
  89. Honey*
  90. Hydrolyzed corn
  91. Hydrolyzed corn protein
  92. Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
  93. Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose
  94. Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose pthalate (HPMCP)
  95. Inositol
  96. Invert syrup or sugar
  97. Iodized salt
  98. Lactate
  99. Lactic acid*
  100. Lauryl glucoside
  101. Lecithin
  102. Linoleic acid
  103. Lysine
  104. Magnesium citrate
  105. Magnesium fumarate
  106. Magnesium stearate
  107. Maize
  108. Malic acid
  109. Malonic acid
  110. Malt syrup from corn
  111. Malt, malt extract
  112. Maltitol
  113. Maltodextrin
  114. Maltol
  115. Maltose
  116. Mannitol
  117. Methyl gluceth
  118. Methyl glucose
  119. Methyl glucoside
  120. Methylcellulose
  121. Microcrystaline cellulose
  122. Modified cellulose gum
  123. Modified corn starch
  124. Modified food starch
  125. Molasses* (corn syrup may be present; know your product)
  126. Mono- and di- glycerides
  127. Monosodium glutamate
  128. MSG
  129. Natural flavorings*
  130. Olestra/Olean
  131. Polenta
  132. Polydextrose
  133. Polylactic acid (PLA)
  134. Polysorbates* (e.g. Polysorbate 80)
  135. Polyvinyl acetate
  136. Potassium citrate
  137. Potassium fumarate
  138. Potassium gluconate
  139. Powdered sugar
  140. Pregelatinized starch
  141. Propionic acid
  142. Propylene glycol*
  143. Propylene glycol monostearate*
  144. Saccharin
  145. Salt (iodized salt)
  146. Semolina (unless from wheat)
  147. Simethicone
  148. Sodium carboxymethylcellulose
  149. Sodium citrate
  150. Sodium erythorbate
  151. Sodium fumarate
  152. Sodium lactate
  153. Sodium starch glycolate
  154. Sodium stearoyl fumarate
  155. Sorbate
  156. Sorbic acid
  157. Sorbitan* (anything)
  158. Sorbitol
  159. Sorghum* (not all is bad; the syrup and/or grain CAN be mixed with corn)
  160. Splenda (Artificial sweetener)
  161. Starch (any kind that’s not specified)
  162. Stearic acid
  163. Stearoyls
  164. Sucralose (Artificial sweetener)
  165. Sucrose
  166. Sugar* (not identified as cane or beet)
  167. Threonine
  168. Tocopherol (vitamin E)
  169. Treacle (aka golden syrup)
  170. Triethyl citrate
  171. Unmodified starch
  172. Vanilla, natural flavoring
  173. Vanilla, pure or extract
  174. Vanillin
  175. Vegetable anything that’s not specific*
  176. Vinegar, distilled white
  177. Vinyl acetate
  178. Vitamin C* and Vitamin E*
  179. Vitamins*
  180. Xanthan gum
  181. Xylitol
  182. Yeast*
  183. Zea mays
  184. Zein
corn derivatives

Corn Products

This section will include personal care items, cleaners, and other non-food products that contain corn. 

What it’s like to live with a corn allergy

In this piece by The Atlantic, you’ll get a glimpse of what it’s like to find safe food. 

When Christine Robinson was first diagnosed with a corn allergy 17 years ago, she remembers thinking, “No more popcorn, no more tacos. I can do this.”

Then she tried to put salt on her tomatoes. (Table salt has dextrose, a sugar derived from corn.) She tried drinking bottled iced tea. (It contains citric acid, which often comes from mold grown in corn-derived sugar.) She tried bottled water. (Added minerals in some brands can be processed with a corn derivative.) She ultimately gave up on supermarket meat (sprayed with lactic acid from fermented corn sugars), bagged salads (citric acid, again), fish (dipped in cornstarch or syrup before freezing), grains (cross-contaminated in processing facilities), fruits like apples and citrus (waxed with corn-derived chemicals), tomatoes (ripened with ethylene gas from corn), milk (added vitamins processed with corn derivatives). And that’s not even getting to all the processed foods made with high-fructose corn syrup, modified food starch, xanthan gum, artificial flavorings, corn alcohol, maltodextrin—all of which are or contain derivatives of corn.

These countless corn derivatives are a significant change from the traditional farm to table concept.

Your Turn

Have a question or product to add? Please let me know in the comments and I’ll add every verifiable allergen. 

eileen sharkey

Thursday 1st of October 2020

I'M LOOKING FOR A GIN I CAN DRINK THAT IS CORN FREE. THANKS

Susie Beckman

Sunday 13th of September 2020

Vegetable Fiber, as in Walden Farms no calorie salad dressings and syrups, etc. straight from the Company: “vegetable fiber comes from CORN!”

I was never allergic to corn or wheat growing up in NH in the 50’s-60’s. I believe it’s the GMO’s food AND the pesticides. I can only eat organic peaches/nectarines because of the pesticides.

Help the Farmers?? I live in IOWA, the highest rate of Cancer in the country... try helping US, who are allergic to the pesticides!!!

Diane H.

Friday 3rd of April 2020

You may want to review all of these acids derived from corn for inclusion in your list (great list, by the way).

Acids of Many Uses From Corn, C. L. Mehltretter https://naldc.nal.usda.gov/download/IND43894163/PDF

Bryan Haines

Monday 13th of April 2020

Thanks Diane!

Diane H.

Friday 3rd of April 2020

Add to List: Bisphenol-A (BPA), Isosorbide, Acetone, Phenolic Acids

Coming Soon: A Corn-Based BPA Replacement, 8-17-10 "BPA, a toxic compound found in everything from store receipts to water bottles, has been a hot topic as of late. That’s because most industries have been slow to adopt alternatives to the petroleum-based estrogenic compound, which is used in the plastic manufacturing process, among other things. Enter isosorbide, a corn-based industrial ingredient that the Archer Daniels Midland Company is touting as a safe, renewable alternative to BPA."

Isosorbide "The starting material for isosorbide is D-sorbitol, which is obtained by catalytic hydrogenation of D-glucose, which is in turn produced by hydrolysis of starch." [Corn] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isosorbide

Maybe this is another reason people are reacting to their tap water. "Epoxy resins derived from BPA are used to line water pipes, as coatings on the inside of many food and beverage cans and in making thermal paper such as that used in sales receipts.

In the U.S., less than 5% of the BPA produced is used in food contact applications,[8] but remains in the canned food industry and printing applications, such as sales receipts.

This compound is synthesized by the condensation of acetone (hence the suffix A in the name)[40] with two equivalents of phenol. The reaction is catalyzed by a strong acid, such as hydrochloric acid (HCl) or a sulfonated polystyrene resin. Industrially, a large excess of phenol is used to ensure full condensation; the product mixture of the cumene process (acetone and phenol) may also be used as starting material:[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bisphenol_A

What is Acetone? "Acetone is currently produced from petrochemicals as a co-product of phenol, however there is a rich history of high purity acetone being made from the fermentation of sugars derived from corn and other agricultural products." https://greenbiologics.com/what-we-do/acetone/what-is-acetone/

"Phenolic acids can be found in maize grain in soluble and insoluble form. ... However, the fraction of soluble phenolic acids is more diverse than the insoluble, particularly in the grains containing anthocyanin-type pigments. Phenolic acids that occur in maize grain are derived from both benzoic acid and cinnamic acid." https://www.intechopen.com/books/phenolic-compounds-natural-sources-importance-and-applications/phenolic-compounds-in-maize-grains-and-its-nixtamalized-products

About Bisphenol-A (BPA) https://www.dwellsmart.com/pages/about-bisphenol-a-bpa

Diane H.

Friday 3rd of April 2020

Add to List: Allulose (Artificial Sweetener)

How is Allulose Made?

"So nowadays allulose is mainly produced from fermented corn. Nothing else. As simple as that." https://primalnoms.com/blogs/news/is-allulose-safe-on-a-keto-diet

"Although small amounts of this rare sugar are found in some foods, in recent years, manufacturers have used enzymes to convert fructose from corn and other plants into allulose." https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/allulose#section1

"Much of the allulose available today is made from corn, which raises concerns among people who want to avoid GMO ingredients." https://www.fooddive.com/news/a-new-way-to-make-allulose-may-not-sweeten-the-sugars-appeal/526732/