Putting Eggs Back in the Cake Mix

Children with egg allergies may be able to eat baked eggs

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Many children with egg allergies are used to missing out on birthday cake. Once they have had a reaction to a cooked egg, their caretakers usually make them avoid all items with egg as an ingredient. That might not be necessary.

A study recently presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Annual Scientific Meeting indicates children with egg allergies might be able to eat them safely when baked.

The study's author specified that any experimentation with introducing foods to a child who has had allergic reactions in the past should be done with the guidance of a doctor.

"Ask your pediatrician for food allergy advice."

Rushani Saltzman, MD, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, led the study to find out if children with egg allergies could eat baked eggs without reactions.

The researchers selected 16 participants who had a history of allergic reactions to baked eggs for their study.

The children were between 13 months and 11 years, with an average age of five and a half years. Boys made up 75 percent of the total participants.

The study group was given three eggs baked into a cake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for a minimum of 30 minutes. After they ate the cake their allergic reactions were measured.

Of the 36 after-cake tests, 56 percent of the participants didn’t have allergic reactions to the baked eggs. The median amount that they tolerated without reaction was a little less than half of a baked hen’s egg within the portion of cake they ate.

The results led researchers to conclude children with allergic reactions to eggs can eat them without danger under some conditions.

“More than half of egg allergic children can tolerate hen’s eggs when they are baked at 350 degrees in products such as cakes and breads,” said Dr. Saltzman.

“Dietary introduction of baked egg by an allergist can broaden a child’s diet, improve quality of life and likely accelerate the development of an egg tolerance,” he said.

This study highlights the changing ideas in how patients with egg allergies are treated, according to John Oppenheimer, MD, a pulmonary and allergy specialist and dailyRx Contributing Expert.

“No longer do we demand total avoidance, but with challenge can allow many to ingest baked goods with egg while still avoiding the whole egg,” Dr. Oppenheimer told dailyRx News.

While the study was too small to make large generalizations, he added, “certainly, the ability to increase a food allergic patient’s diet and potentially speed up the tolerized state is a win-win scenario.”

The research was funded by the Food Allergy Initiative.

The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
November 19, 2012
Last Updated:
November 20, 2012