Sales of Prairie-grown peas are surging as the popularity of veggie burgers and vegetable-based dairy products increases, but a child allergists says it could trigger anaphylactic shock reactions.
Dr. Elana Lavine said she often advises parents to avoid peanuts, eggs and seafood. and now she's warning them that allergies can also be triggered by "pea protein".
She linked it to peanut allergy, but said only five per cent of those with an allergic reaction to peanuts are having an adverse reaction to pea protein.
Pea protein lacks one essential amino acid needed to make it a complete protein, Alison Duncan, a professor of human health and nutritional sciences at the University of Guelph, is quoted in an on-line article by the CBC.
A complete protein contains all nine essential amino acids that humans need.
"There's no doubt that the pea protein extracts are high in protein," said Duncan, a registered dietitian. But "it's not a so-called complete protein like soy is."
Processing "concentrates the protein from a large number of peas into a small amount," Lavine said, and that concentration can cause a much more severe reaction than eating plain peas.