Talking Allergies

"Modified Milk Ingredient"
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Author:  Momtobunches [ Wed Oct 19, 2005 1:47 pm ]
Post subject:  "Modified Milk Ingredient"

Hi all,

When my 5 yo was much younger, and we were told that he would "grow out" of his milk allergy, we started giving him products - like Nutrigrain bars - that contain modified milk ingredients. I have noticed that most packaged food contains this. He has never had a reaction to this, but in June, he consumed a hot dog labelled "modified milk ingredients", and went into anaphylaxis. We were wondering if it was the labelled mmi that caused the reaction, or something else (the hot dog was given to us at a summer festival). We will never know. But now we're terrified to offer him anything new that contains mmi.

Anyone else notice this? What exactly are modified milk ingredients?! There doesn't seem to be any kind of protein in it, or else my son would be in big trouble everytime he ate a Nutrigrain bar!


Author:  Helen [ Wed Oct 19, 2005 3:34 pm ]
Post subject: 

Hi, I don't know about "modified milk ingredients"---I hope someone else with a milk allergy will. But I do know that the info. some of us are given at the allergist's office is inadequate----if there is a good chance that your son might grow out of your allergy, it isn't recommended that you try milk products on him yourself--it's just too much of a risk. I think what generally happens is that the allergist will retest and then if the tests come back negative (which doesn't necessarily mean anything--they are innacurate) the allergist will do a scratch test with the actual milk and then proceed to an oral challenge with the epi at the ready.

Author:  Momtobunches [ Wed Oct 19, 2005 4:32 pm ]
Post subject: 

Thanks for your reply - and don't worry, we will never, ever give him milk ourselves. He was only 2 1/2 months old when the allergy became apparent, and at that time, we were told by our physician to try 1 oz of regular formula every 3 months. By the age of 2, she said that since he hadn't grown out of it, he needed to see a specialist. We've been under the care of an allergist ever since. His latest RAST was, as usual, over 100 - dangerously high, and indicative of a child who will NOT grow out of it and he's had 2 accidental exposures in the past 3 years which have been anaphylactic.

We only give him things with modified milk ingredients because he's never reacted to them before, so they must not have casein in them, and I'm curious if anyone knows exactly what is in mmi.


Author:  i hate nuts [ Wed Oct 19, 2005 5:51 pm ]
Post subject: 

Aren't these names confusing???? :?

I found this, hope it helps:

Modified milk ingredients are defined in item 7.1, subsection B.01.010 (3) of the FDR, as "any of the following in liquid, concentrated, dry, frozen or reconstituted form, namely, calcium reduced skim milk (obtained by the ion-exchange process), casein, caseinates, cultured milk products, milk serum proteins, ultrafiltered milk, whey, whey butter, whey cream and any other component of milk the chemical state of which has been altered from that in which it is found in milk". ... iume.shtml

Author:  saskmommyof3 [ Wed Oct 19, 2005 5:56 pm ]
Post subject:  modified milk ingredients

I guess there really is no way of knowing what part of the milk it is. Cross contamination is a big issue with my daughter. She would easily react to any food which has come into contact with milk. I think it would be impossible to isolate a specific part of milk ( ex. lactose ) without any traces of other parts present (casien).

I'm quoting my info from my allergist ..." all milk products and dirivatives should be strictly avoided".

My daughter had been drinking "nestle good start" without a reaction. The protein in it is broken down. However from the second her allergy was diagnosed, she was switched to soy. If the process that broke down the protein in one bottle wasn't 100 %, we could have had anaphylaxis on our hands.

I was never told that my daughter was only allergic to the casien. I was told that being allergic to milk means all parts. I don't like taking risks, or trying foods that I'm not sure of. It is way too stressful for me, and not really necessary. There are plenty of foods that she can eat without any milk in them at all. Most of them are unfortunately homemade, which means more work for me, but at least I know what is in them.

Author:  Mylène [ Wed Oct 19, 2005 7:35 pm ]
Post subject: 

Modified milk ingredients is actually milk... with some parts missing (fat or something), but it's still milk with all the proteins and all. If your child is allergic to milk, there could have been some more discrete reactions, but there was a reaction and it was just waiting to blow up... (sorry). Everything that says modified milk ingredients, milk fat, milk other thing, it's just milk with some fat or other portion missing, or that have been dried up but it's still milk with the proteins and all.


Author:  Momtobunches [ Thu Oct 20, 2005 2:57 am ]
Post subject: 

Wow! Thanks for all the replies! Mylene & I hate nuts, you have 2 very different replies. Mylene, do you have a reference where you found your information? My allergist would like to see the "proof sources", as they are referred to. I've asked many nutritionists this question, and none of them have been able to answer me.

We've known since he was 1 that casien was the specific component of milk that he reacts to. Any food with mmi in it has been perfectly fine, so obviously, the mmi that are in the stuff he has consumed must be other components of milk. His reactions have never been minor ... you cannot miss them. Hives, sneezing, vomiting, swollen eyelids, and more recently, wheezing and a drop in blood pressure.

He eats Nutrigrain bars all the time, so there's no way there's any casein in there. He's always been fine with margarine, so whey is obviously fine too. Lactose - not a problem. Eating 2 tiny shreds of soya cheese caused his reaction at age 1 - and would you believe that soya cheese is made with casein??!! I didn't even think to check to ingredients list back then, he was only 1, and the docs were certain he would grow out of it.

The definition that i hate nuts put up is very helpful - and I wonder if the food companies are able to distinguish exactly which part of the milk has been used?

Author:  Mylène [ Thu Oct 20, 2005 12:39 pm ]
Post subject: 

mmi and whey are fine???? ok... I'll look for the source tonight when I get home. I am personnally allergic to casein and these 2 I react to for sure!!!! Anything that is derived from milk, I'll know it within seconds!

I'll get you the info (I have it somewhere for sure, I've been reading about that stuff for years.)


Author:  saskmommyof3 [ Thu Oct 20, 2005 2:25 pm ]
Post subject:  modified milk ingredients

MMI is milk, that in some way has been modified. Sometimes the fat is removed, sometimes the casein, it depends on the specific use of mmi in the product. There is no guarantee that the casien has been removed, or that traces of it are not still present.

Sometimes, in our little ones, we cannot see a minor reaction, as it occurs on the inside. My husband consumed some milk as a child (while allergic ) without a major reaction. His mother was not careful to strictly avoid milk, but as long as he was not reacting violently, let him eat foods which he shouldn't have been eating. His allergist could always tell when he had been exposed to milk because his test results would show he was becoming more allergic...not less. He would almost outgrow his allergy, then he would be exposed to more milk products, and his allergy would become severe again. He was also very achy as a child, a result of "trace of milk" according to his allergist. I've also heard that "traces",( even though they are not causing hives or worse )can cause stomach pain, headaches, and cause a child to not feel his best, and not proform at his best in school or activities. The child may not have the ability to tell you when they just don't feel right.

Other people ( adults with allergies ) who have posted have talked about foods which make them feel "not at their best". They may not be having "allergic reactions " according to the definition our allergists give us, but their ability to function and feel their best is comprimised.

Also, whey is protein. How could your allergist tell if you were allergic to casein and not whey? How do you know that casien is the specific component he reacts to? Did your allergist test him seperately for different components of milk?

Author:  Mylène [ Thu Oct 20, 2005 7:58 pm ]
Post subject: 

Modified milk ingredients are defined in item 7.1, subsection B.01.010 (3) of the FDR, as "any of the following in liquid, concentrated, dry, frozen or reconstituted form, namely, calcium reduced skim milk (obtained by the ion-exchange process), casein, caseinates, cultured milk products, milk serum proteins, ultrafiltered milk, whey, whey butter, whey cream and any other component of milk the chemical state of which has been altered from that in which it is found in milk".

I'm trying to think how this could be contrary to what I first said. If you go through the list above, you can see that MMI are either:

calcium reduced skim milk = milk, therefore casein
caseinates = probable casein
cultured milk products = milk in forms like yogourt and other
milk serum proteins = milk, therefore probable casein
ultrafiltered milk = milk, therefore casein
whey, whey butter, whey cream = as far as I know, milk therefore probable casein

so in other words, most things listed are plain and simple milk... some versions may be more or less reactive depending on the individual, but so far, I have not seen one that I personnaly don't react to (reactions vary depending on quantity and version...)

So if you need a source, the Food Inspection Agency's definition that was provided in a previous message is exactly what you need.


Author:  Momtobunches [ Sat Oct 22, 2005 2:26 pm ]
Post subject: 

The key statement that I took out of the official definition of mmi is the last one ---- that they have been modified from their original forms. Does that not mean that the protein could have been changed to make it less reactive?

I kind of feel like I'm being attacked here. Does everyone not understand that people's allergies are very different?? I mentioned in my post above that he reacted severely to soy cheese, which contained casein (and only 2 "shreds" of it - a tiny, tiny amount). This was our first clue that it was that specific protein. Whey and casien are different milk proteins, and from what I have read and understood, casein is the most likely culprit as the cause of milk allergy. It was just simple food trial that we determined he wasn't allergic to whey - because he has always been able to eat margarine and bread. I also spoke with a Nestle nutritionist when he was a baby to learn about the differences between formulas in terms of their casein / whey balance, and she explained the above to me. My allergist - the only one in Calgary who will do a food trial - says that my son can NEVER have a food trial due to the high numbers of his allergy tests, and he has never seen a child with numbers that high at the age of 5.

He has never, ever had any kind of eczema, which is the most common manifestation of milk allergy. When we were food-challenging him every 3 months before age 2 (on the advice of our doctors - before we had an allergist), we would only ever use approximately 1/2 ounce of milk mixed in with about 6 oz of soya milk. He would react after having just a few sips.

You're telling me that he could be having "hidden" allergic reactions to the whey and mmi that I let him eat, but if just a minute amount of milk caused such severe reactions, I can't imagine him having any kind of minor reaction! It's full-blown each and every time. And we never want it to happen again. I guess I'll just have to forbid any new foods that contain mmi, now that I know that it could contain casien - modified or not.

I'm sorry if my son's allergy doesn't conform to the ones that you know - even our allergist seems to be baffled. I'll probably never be able to undertand it myself.

Author:  saskmommyof3 [ Sat Oct 22, 2005 7:06 pm ]
Post subject: 

I did not in any way want to make you feel like you were being attacked. It is hard to interpret emotion and body language from computer posts. And in no way did I want you to feel bad. :D

I read in an article that lactose and other froms of milk not containing casien may not need to be avoided in all children with a milk allergy, but do need to be avoided in someone with a serious allergy, such as someone who has had previous anaphylaxis.

My daughter is severely allergic to milk too. I know that peoples allergies can be different. However, it is really hard to determine how allergic a child is, and how they will react just from a skin test or RAST. Personally, I am extremely scared of anaphylaxis. I have not had an anaphylactic reaction in either my daughters yet, a combination of LUCK and being cautious. My milk allergic daughter is very sensitive to milk even coming in contact with her skin. I would hate to see what it could do if she ingested it! I was actually very curious to see if you had an isolated casien test, mostly out of curiosity that one might exist. I realize that my questions could be interpreted the wrong way since body language and tone of voice is not present in writen text. Sorry.

I feel that manufacturers are not always aware of the ins and outs of allergies. The process that separates milk in to isolated whey may not be 100%. If it is 99.9 % whey and .1% casien, in margarine that is 18 % whey, when only 1 tsp is used on toast, that might be enough to cause the reactions that are not obvious, or increase sensitivity to casien. Because it contains whey, the product already contains milk, and therefore would not contain a "may contain casien" warning, because warnings are not that specific. My daughter drank "good start" for 6 months. My allergist said "do not give her another bottle!" when we found out about the allergy. He was concerned that the protein might not be fully broke down in a batch and cause anaphylaxis, or at least increase her sensitivity over time, and she therefore would not have as good of a chance of outgrowing it.

My biggest concern is that the manufacturer of a product that does not cause a reaction may decide to change the form of MMI that is being used. They would not have to change the labeling because it is still acurate. Casien is a very useful substance in manufactured products. It helps soy cheese melt, and has other befinits to the texture of a product. Maybe they are using a form of MMI that is free of casien, I do not know. But they may find that a different form containing lots of casien is beneficial to the taste or texture of their product, and switch it without your knowledge, and without having to change the label in anyway.

I've found that with the latest craze for "trans fat free" products, different forms of milk are appearing in products where it did not appear before.

Author:  _Susan_ [ Sun Oct 23, 2005 11:48 am ]
Post subject: 

So, I getting from this discussion that, individuals can be allergic to one or more of the many protiens in milk just as they can be allergic to egg white, egg yolk or both.
It's difficult at times to know which protiens you're allergic to and in my daughters case the allergist has recommended that all milk be avoided. If you are sure that your child is not allergic to casiens or some other milk protien, I'm jealous but, "Bonne Appetite!"
I hate it when manufacturers use vague statements like modified milk ingredients or natural flavouring and do not elaborate. In many instances an e-mai to the company is enough to rule for or against a particular item.
I know how easy it is to become emotional in a conversation that centers around the life or potential death of your child. It can seem that a person who is bringing up a differing point of view is accusing you of putting your chid in danger (sometimes I feel that way especially when discussing plans with my husband).
Let's try to see each other as partners in the quest to keeping ourselves (or our loved ones) safe, sound and happy.

Author:  saskmommyof3 [ Sun Oct 23, 2005 4:20 pm ]
Post subject:  this is what I was referring too

I'm not suggesting that anyones child has add. I just thought I would post this to elaborate on my previous post about "behavior changes from trace amount of allergens...too small to cause hives or worse". I've chosen this link because it is a ".org" link, and therefore non profit, and not profiting off potential book sales. There are numerous other articles out there that explore this as well.

I find these articles very interesting, and this is part of the reason why I choose to not give my child anything that may have trace amounts of allergens in it, even if they are not having "hives or worse" reactions. This isn't entirely about MMI, I just thought I'd post it here because this is the only place that I have brought it up. My daughters do not have abnormal behavior issues, but when I deal with my children, and the usual issues kids have, I want to know that the behavior is something that my child has chosen to do... and not the result of trace allergens.

Because my kids have allergies, they fall into a higher risk catagory of food affecting their behavior, and this contributes to why I strictly avoid any traces of allergens even if they "appear fine". Because my daughter has a severe milk allergy, I am concerned that, even if she outgrows it or can tollerate it in some forms that it may still negatively effect her.

Author:  Helen [ Wed Oct 26, 2005 12:13 pm ]
Post subject: 

Saskmommy, I have also heard that there is a link between ADD and allergies. I have a reference somewhere---I'll try to remember ot look it up and post it.

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