Confectionery such as butterscotch, caramels, fudge, honeycomb, marshmallows, meringues, toffees and white chocolate (when made from permitted ingredients - no colours, preservatives or flavours that you can taste except vanilla, caramel, butterscotch or musk).
Reader report 'I notice a lot of people use white chocolate, so I bought some cocoa butter to test it out on myself because I am highly sensitive to amines. Well I made a fudge and it was delicious. However I did have an amine reaction and within 3 hours it was a really strong reaction. Had to take pain relief for the headache and unfortunately for the family I could do nothing about my vile mood that followed!'– Kersten by email
Eat sugar and sweets IN MODERATION
e.g. no more than 1-2 sweets or 1-2 teaspoons of sugar at a time.
People who are very sensitive may react to excessive sugar or citric acid (RPAH Handbook p53-54).
Children who appear to be reacting behaviourally to sugar are usually reacting to additives or eating too many salicylates.
AVOID commercial sweets with added flavours (including vanilla) if the diet isn’t working.
AVOID sweets with concentrated natural colours (high in salicylates, amines and glutamates).
AVOID fruit flavours whether natural or artificial e.g. strawberry, orange (very high in salicylates, amines)
AVOID artificial and sugar free sweeteners including polyols e.g. sorbitol, xylitol, mannitol due to known laxative effect
AVOID dairy or gluten if necessary. Cornflour will contain gluten unless specified from corn. Glucose syrup may contain sulphite residues unless well cooked. Check for ‘may contain traces of’ or allergen statements if necessary.
Confectionery with Dairy
• Werther’s Original Cream Candies Ingredients (in Australia): Sugar, glucose syrup, cream (7%), condensed whey, butter (4.5%), cane sugar syrup, salt, butterfat, emulsifier soy lecithin, flavor. Ingredients (in the US): Sugar, corn syrup, butter, whey, salt, soy lecithin (emulsifier), vanillin.
• Nestle Milky Bar Original Ingredients: sugar, full cream milk powder (31%), vegetable fat (antioxidant ), emulsifiers (476, soya lecithin), flavour.
• Nestle White Melts Ingredients: sugar, vegetable fat, milk solids, emulsifiers (soya lecithin 492), flavour
• Homebrand Jersey Caramels e.g.Ingredients: sugar, glucose from wheat, preservative 220, wheat flour, condensed milk, vegetable oil (palm oil), gelatin, flavor (vanilla, caramel), emulsifier 471, salt. Contains gluten and sulphites. In this case, sulphites will have been mostly driven off by the long cooking process. Avoid products with ‘margarine’ unless the ingredients in the margarine are provided.
Avoid if the ingredient list includes 320 because this is a synthetic antioxidant.
Reader report: HomeBrand Jersey Caramels appeared on the shelves in South East Qld earlier this year but the ingredients list 220 (driven off by boiling?) and 320. - thanks to Gill
• Nice and Natural Russian Fudge - typical fudge ingredients include sugar, milk, sweetened condensed milk, butter, salt, golden syrup. Avoid fudge with ‘margarine’ unless the ingredients in the margarine are provided.
• Allen’s Milkshakes or similar e.g. Black & Gold Milk Bottles Ingredients: Glucose syrup (wheat), sugar, starch (wheat), humectant (glycerine), water, flavour
• Pascall’s Columbines Ingredients: wheat glucose syrup, sugar, milk solids, golden syrup, salt, flavours, emulsifier (soya lecithin)
• Carob Easter Eggs in 2 sizes, Mini Carob Easter Eggs and Bilbys with colourful foil wrappers (you choose the colours) in milk, soy or no added sugar available from Carobana, must be ordered in advance www.carobana.com.au
• Honeycomb and honeycomb factory tours, milk carob coated confectionery, raw cashew nut brittle: (Also available if you have passed your amine challenge: carob coated banana pieces and whole dried bananas) On the highway north of Coffs Harbour (good stop for the kids and see the factory!) or by mail order from www.carobana.com.au.
• Bear Hugs sweets by the Natural Confectionery Co (not suitable for your supervised elimination diet - for those who can tolerate amines) ingredients wheat glucose syrup, cane sugar, water wheat starch, gelatine, natural cocoa powder (3%), salt, glazing agent (vegetable oil, carnauba wax and/or beeswax).
Reader report ‘They are quite yummy and taste like chico lollies, and are less of a problem in our house than the milk bottle sweets. It’s nice to have another choice for when the kiddies have a treat...’ -Thanks to Karen
Warning: Honeycomb must be made from glucose NOT honey, read label carefully.
Warning: Smarties: Not suitable for your strict elimination diet. Since 2009, all natural Smarties with no added flavours have been available. These Smarties are suitable for children who are only avoiding additives. There are amines (in the chocolate) and concentrated natural colours are listed as high in salicylates, amines and glutamates.
Warning: White Rabbit sweets from China - previously recommended on our website - have been banned from schools in the Philippines due to the presence of formaldehyde which is a known carcinogen. White Rabbit sweets are sold in Australia in Chinese grocery stores, imported by Vihenthi Co P/L of 19 Boag Pl, Morley WA 6062. May 08: FIN asked FSANZ in February for advice on whether these product sold in Australia contained formaldehyde. FSANZ informed us verbally that one analysis in WA found formaldehyde but that subsequent tests have not detected it. We await a formal response.
How to avoid contamination in Chinese food products: Milk from China has been associated with melamine contamination. You can tell if products such as milk powder, Coffee Mate, infant formula, chocolate or confectionery were made in China by a barcode starting with any number between 690 and 695 inclusive (00-13 is USA & Canada, 50 is UK, 93 is Australia). Products that were withdrawn in Australia due to melamine contamination scandal in 2008 included White Rabbit Creamy Candy and Cadbury’s Chocolate Éclair sweets which are otherwise suitable for non-amine responders. More details from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Chinese_milk_scandal
Confectionery Dairy free
• Pascall’s White (vanilla) Marshmallows: (AVOID mixed white and pink due to contamination from artificial colours and raspberry flavours in pink marshmallow - this may apply also to ALDI’s Dominion Sweets naturally coloured and flavoured marshmallows due to flavor contamination but maybe not, one failsafer has said it is okay to eat the white ones and give the pink ones away).
I just wanted to let you know that our Aldi (in Sydney) are selling packets of white only Pascall brand marshmallows - the small ones which normally come in the pink/white mixed packets. I keep stocking up in case they only have them for a limited time, but they have been selling them for at least a month maybe more. – thanks to Kat
Pascall’s Marshmallows reader review: In supermarkets, Pascall's marshmallows are usually only sold as a packet of vanilla AND raspberry flavoured marshies (not failsafe) or you have to buy the giant vanilla ones. You can buy the packets containing just vanilla marshies (in normal size, not giant) in petrol stations and video stores. - thanks to Lauren.
Pascall’s Marshmallows reader review:These sweets should be eaten in limited quantities because of the flavour. Are the big ones worse than the small ones? Some people think so – but it could be because reactions are related to the size of the dose - thanks to Kathleen
• White jelly beans with vanilla or citric acid flavor (AVOID coconut, bubblegum or orange oil flavor). We don’t know of any currently suitable.
Darrell Lea White Jelly Beans reader review: These are no longer failsafe. I had my hubby buy a whole box for my daughter’s birthday party and had to take them all back after opening a packet and finding out they are VERY strong flavour and smell and now contain ORANGE OIL. My children are too sensitive for this as I am sure are a lot of others out there. Can you please let others know as when I spoke to darrell lea the lady said if more of us call in and make a complaint they would likely change the recipe back to a safer option, but we need to call and say something. – thanks to Kate
• White musk sticks from Allergy Train https://allergytrain.com.au/products/allergy-train-musk-sticks
• Pear Lollipops from Allergy Train https://allergytrain.com.au/collections/all-products/products/allergy-train-pear-lollipops
• Honeycomb from Allergy Train https://allergytrain.com.au/collections/all-products/products/allergy-train-honeycombe
• Cashew nut brittle madefrom raw cashews; honeycomb and honeycomb factory tours; soy carob coated confectionery. (Also available if you have passed your amine challenge: carob coated banana pieces and whole dried bananas) and soy carob Easter eggs. On the highway north of Coffs Harbour or by mail order from www.carobana.com.au.
• Super Natural Rock Candy: Tasmanian company Sweet-As has released a Super Natural rock candy (it has no baddies and was made just for failsafers). They will send them where ever you like (check ingredients are suitable for you before ordering). See details and contact information on http://www.sweet-as.com.au/candy-shop/ – thanks to Jackie.
Warning: The Natural Confectionery Co Natural Snakes and similar confectionery are not failsafe due to natural fruit flavours (very high in salicylates, amines and glutamates) and natural colours (considered to be high in salicylates, amines and glutamates if concentrated see RPAH Handbook p48, 52). These sweets are suitable for families who are only avoiding additives.
Warning: Not permitted on your strict elimination diet: Licorice, Peppermints, Mint flavoured sweets, Chewing gum (very high in salicylates); Chocolate (very high in amines); Butter menthol, medicated cough drops, throat lozenges (very high in salicylates, amines, glutamates).
Warning: Sugar & Behaviour. White sugar does not usually cause bad behavior in children. If children appear to be affected by sugar, check that you have eliminated all additives and salicylates. Salicylate-induced hypoglycaemia can cause sugar reactions, see reader story below.
We're just trying to start an elimination diet but over the last few weeks my 8 year old’s behaviour just seems to have gotten worse! I’ve looked back on his food diary and nothing really sticks out. I made some home-made marshmallows from the failsafe book and he reacted badly to them (two small pieces and licking the whisk!) (crying, sad followed by hyper then on to the humming and repetitive singing, ending after three days as usual) …. My husband is convinced it's the sugar. The only possible thing I can think of that is new is that we have had the chia bread from bakers delight …
In this case, I would suspect that salicylates in the chia seeds caused the sugar reaction. People who are failsafe 'but not 100%' and swear they react to sugar have almost certainly failed to reduce their salicylate level enough. The boy in the story above gradually improved over five days of chia avoidance and two weeks later, his mother wrote:
Update: … we are still on calm street. No tears, arguments, humming or repetitive singing. These school holidays have been fantastic in our house, happy times!
For more information, see Salicylate-induced hypoglycaemia in the index of my books such as Fed Up and the Salicylates factsheet.
White sugar, icing and caster sugars and light brown sugar are failsafe; dark brown sugar if very dark can be moderate in salicylates; raw sugar is now rated as high in salicylates; honey is very high in salicylates.
Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend reducing sugar intake. According to RPAH guidelines, eat sugar and sweets IN MODERATION e.g. no more than 1-2 sweets or 1-2 teaspoons of sugar at a time. (Did you know? - one can of soft drink contains 10 teaspoons of sugar.)
updated June 2016