What is the Kinnerton Nut Safety Promise? There are no GUARANTEES in life but we at Kinnerton have been committed to making our chocolates safe for people with nut allergies since 1999. We have invested over $2 million in segregating our factory and implementing stringent procedures to ensure our Kinnerton products are Nut Safe.
How safe is our product for Nut Allergy Sufferers?
We have produced well in excess of 1 billion packs of chocolate based around our nut segregated facilities and happily we have never had a verified nut allergy incident. That figure becomes more meaningful, because the very people who have most to lose from Nut Contamination, because they suffer from Nut Allergy, are the very people who have TARGETED Kinnerton Nut Promise products.
How do we achieve this? Like most Confectioners, we have nuts as a vital part of our ingredients. In order to manufacture nut safe products we segregate our factory into distinct zones – those with nuts in the ingredients and those without. We support this segregation with detailed procedures including those covering: Raw Materials, personnel flow, protective clothing, equipment, engineering tools, utensils & cleaning equipment and warehousing.
How do we achieve this? The Kinnerton Nut Safety Promise allows you to buy a much, much safer product because of the measures we have undertaken in our factory. Accordingly we hope that you, or the child our products are intended for, enjoy our chocolates and feel more secure about the manufacturing processes we undertake and believe in. In summary, ‘We go to extraordinary lengths to make our chocolates safe for nut allergy sufferers.’
Kinnerton takes the issue of allergen management very seriously and we pride ourselves in providing reliable and consistent information about our products.
The allergens handled in our factory are: Milk, Soya, Nuts, Peanuts, Eggs & Wheat/Gluten. Detailed protocols are implemented to ensure the risks of cross contamination are minimised but where the risks for a particular allergen cannot be eliminated this will be indicated on the packaging.
The following provides more information on specific product ranges and allergens but if you would like to contact us as well, click HERE.
Nuts are used in our factory but we implement stringent controls to ensure our Kinnerton products are safe for nut allergy sufferers. Whilst we always maintain that there are no GUARANTEES in life, we have spent over $2 million to keep Nuts OUT of our segregated and walled off non nut Factory. This results in 5 of our production lines being able to offer chocolate products for children and adults that are produced in controlled conditions on machinery that never runs nut products.
More general information can be found at the Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia website HERE.
Egg ingredients are used in a number of our products. Where this is the case, egg will appear in the products ingredients list.
We have limited the use of egg ingredients to certain areas of our factory and we have rigorous controls in place including segregation and detailed cleaning to minimise the risk of cross contamination. Whilst we endeavour to remove all traces of egg there are a few high risk production lines where we cannot guarantee complete removal of all egg traces. Where this is the case, these products are labelled with the statement ‘May contain egg traces.’ These products are not suitable for egg allergy sufferers.
There is no recognised safe level of egg protein for egg allergy sufferers. As a result, despite our rigorous controls, due to the presence of egg within our manufacturing lines and chocolate systems, it is not our policy to label our products as egg free. However, as part of our ongoing allergen risk assessment program, we have considered the risk of egg cross contamination on those manufacturing lines that produce advent calendars, large Easter eggs and chocolate lollipops. Egg ingredients are not used on these lines and as a result, these products do not carry a ‘may contain egg traces’ warning.
Wheat & Gluten ingredients are used in a number of our products. Where this is the case, wheat/gluten appears in the ingredients list.
Gluten is the protein found in wheat and other cereals. Unlike other allergens, there is a recognised threshold or limit below which products can safely be consumed by those suffering from gluten intolerance and coeliac disease. This level is 0.002% (20mg per kg or 20 parts per million (ppm).
We have limited the use of gluten ingredients to certain areas of our factory and we have rigorous controls in place including segregation and detailed allergen clean downs to minimise the risk of cross contamination with non gluten containing products
Given our rigorous clean down procedures and our ongoing risk assessment work, we are confident any cross contamination of non gluten containing products will be limited to less than 20ppm. On this basis, unless labelled as an ingredient, our products are suitable for coeliacs.
Soya is a widely used ingredient and is present in our Kinnerton chocolate in the form of soya lecithin. Lecithin is a fatty substance found and extracted from a number of plant materials, most widely from soya beans.
Soya Lecithin is used as an emulsifier in chocolate to prevent cocoa butter from separating from the other cocoa ingredients. It also has a major effect on determining how thick or thin a chocolate is and how it flows. This in turn is important in determining how well different chocolate products can be made.
The use of emulsifiers such as soya lecithin within chocolate manufacture is well established. Kinnerton chocolate contains approximately 0.6% soya lecithin. It is generally recognised that the level of protein within soya lecithin is around 0.3%. It is therefore estimated that the amount of soya protein present in chocolate is around 0.002% (20mg per Kg or 20 ppm).
Some scientific studies have shown that many people with soy allergy can tolerate small to moderate amounts of soya protein (up to around 400mg). As a result not all soya allergy sufferers need to avoid eating chocolate containing soya lecithin. However, there is currently no official threshold level of soya protein below which is safe. Individual tolerance to soya protein will vary and only an allergy sufferer and their doctor can decide if it is safe to consume soya lecithin.
There is increased pressure on the chocolate industry to seek alternatives to Soya Lecithin. One alternative is sunflower lecithin but this is not commercially available in sufficient quantities for the chocolate industry.
Milk allergy is the most common food allergy in young children although around 85% of children affected, do not continue to suffer past the age of about 3 years. Those suffering from milk allergy react to one or more of the proteins within milk.
Milk is an ingredient in Kinnerton chocolate and the level of milk proteins found in Kinnerton chocolate is around 5% (50000mg per Kg or 50000 ppm). There are no published threshold levels below which a milk allergy sufferer is safe. The high levels of milk protein present in Kinnerton chocolate means that it is not suitable for milk allergy sufferers.
Kinnerton Branded confectionery products do not contain alcohol.
Kinnerton Branded confectionery products are not currently Kosher or Halal certified.
All Kinnerton chocolate based products are suitable for vegetarians. A number of confectionery items sold by Kinnerton include marshmallow sweets. Marshmallows are not suitable for vegetarians or vegans due to inclusion of gelatine within the recipe. Our suppliers of sweets use pork gelatine to achieve the required texture and quality within the sweet. Whilst vegetarian alternatives can be seen on the market, these are not widely available in large volumes and do not provide the quality of product expected by our consumers.
Kinnerton milk chocolate is not suitable for vegans but a great alternative is the Kinnerton Allergen Free range. Click HERE for more information
Lactose intolerance is caused when an individual cannot digest lactose, the predominant sugar found in milk. Lactose intolerance is a non allergic food sensitivity and is usually caused if a person cannot produce lactase – the enzyme in the body that causes lactose to be broken down and digested.
The level of lactose in Kinnerton chocolate is around 10% (100000mg per Kg or 100000 ppm). There are no published threshold levels below which sufferers do not react, generally this is established through a process of trial and error by the patient. Given the high level of lactose present within our chocolate we would advise that it is not suitable for those suffering from lactose intolerance.
Our allergy free range is specifically designed for those individuals suffering from milk allergy or lactose intolerance. See our Allergen Free Range HERE.
Kinnerton chocolate is made to enjoy as part of a well-balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.
- Your products claim to be ‘Nut Safe’ – what does this mean?
- Why don't you say nut free?
- Your packaging has changed is it still suitable for Nut Allergy Sufferers?
- You are no longer using the ‘Nut Safety Promise’ logo – what has changed?
- Your products look different – has the recipe changed?
- Why do you use Shea nut oil in your products?
- What does it do? Why is it needed?
- What is the purpose of cocoa butter in chocolate?
- In future could you replace Shea Nut oil with another ingredient to do the same job in the recipe?
- How long have you been using shea in our recipe?
- As shea is a nut, and your product contains shea why do you not say ‘may contain traces of nuts’?
- Is this the same recipe as last year? How long have you been using the current recipe?
- How trustworthy is the research?
- General Food Allergy & intolerance information
Within our Norfolk manufacturing site we have a nut and a non nut manufacturing unit. Our ‘Nut safety Promise’ is our commitment to nut allergic consumers that we do everything we possibly can to prevent non nut products being contaminated with nuts. This includes the close management of our raw materials, the segregation of our factory, control of people, equipment, tools and materials and the verification of these controls through a nut surveillance testing programme. In the years since Kinnerton first segregated its production facilities in 1999, we have produced well in excess of 1 billion packs of chocolate based around our nut segregated facilities and we have never had a verified nut incident. More details of our segregation procedures can be found here.
In recent years there have been huge advances in the science of allergen testing and levels of nut protein can be detected to very small amounts – less than 1ppm (parts per million), this is the equivalent to say one small drop of milk in over 100 pints. They are not however finite tests. It would be impossible for Kinnerton to test every product manufactured and whilst we handle nuts on the same manufacturing site we feel we are unable to use the term ‘nut free.’ We are extremely confident that the controls we have in place enable our Kinnerton Branded products to be eaten safely by Nut allergy sufferers.
Following Consumer Research we have given our Kinnerton products a new look but you can be assured that they continue to be ‘Nut safe.’ We hope that our new packaging is much more recognisable and will make it easier to recognise Kinnerton product on shelf. Click here to get further information about our Nut safety Promise.
We still manufacture our Kinnerton Branded products under our Nut Safety Promise controls, we have simply updated our packaging with a new look. All Kinnerton Branded products carry a ’Nut Safe’ declaration and are suitable for Nut Allergy Sufferers.
Our products are manufactured to the same great recipe, we have just given our Kinnerton products an exciting new look.
It is common practice in the chocolate industry to substitute cocoa butter with a variety of vegetable oils. The EU regulates the type and quantity of vegetable oils that can be used. Shea nut oil is one of the allowed vegetable oils. A maximum of 5% of CBE’s (Cocoa Butter Equivalents) can be used in the chocolate recipe. The other approved vegetable oils are Illipe. Borneo tallow or Tengkawang Palm oil Sal Kokum gurgi Mango Kernel
Shea nut oil is similar in functionality to cocoa butter and therefore is a good substitute for cocoa butter.
Cocoa butter is the naturally occurring fat in cocoa beans. It is extracted from chocolate liquor by pressing, and is generally filtered and deodorized before use. The function of cocoa butter in chocolate is to suspend and lubricate sugar particles. Cocoa butter lowers the viscosity of melted chocolate, but does not itself significantly contribute to chocolate flavour, having little flavour of its own. Cocoa butter has several unique qualities that make it a very desirable fat: Cocoa butter has a narrow melting range that is just below normal human body temperature: it tends to stay hard until it is very close to body temperature, and then it melts rapidly, carrying and releasing flavours on the palate. Cocoa butter sets to a brittle consistency at normal room temperature: if cocoa butter were not brittle, chocolate would not have its characteristic snap. Cocoa butter contracts significantly upon setting: it is the contraction of cocoa butter as it crystallizes that makes it possible for the confectioner to release chocolate easily from moulds once it is set. Some chocolates include the presence of vegetable oils in addition to cocoa butter and these are blended to deliver the same characteristics as cocoa butter. Each of the oils used will have their own chemistry & characteristics which contribute to delivering the above qualities.
Shea nut oil is one of 6 vegetable oils that the EU allows us to use as a substitute to cocoa butter. Normally, the vegetable oil used in chocolate manufacture is a blend of a combination of all 6 vegetable oils. The oil manufacturing process makes complete segregation between the different oils difficult
EU regulations were updated in 1999 to specify the inclusion of up to 5% CBE vegetable oils (Cocoa Butter Equivalents). Shea nut oil or shea nut butter as it is sometimes called has always been included in the list of approved vegetable oils The Kinnerton chocolate recipe has included vegetable oils for over 5 years.
Shea nuts are obtained from the shea tree that is indigenous to many parts of Africa. The shea nut is the seed of the fruit of the shea tree. The fruit portion is typically removed to retrieve the hard-shelled nut. Shea nut is a very oil-rich seed and are used to produce Shea nut butter, sometimes known as shea nut oil. This is a cold- pressed oil that is refined, bleached and deodorized that is widely used primarily within the confectionery products. Shea nuts are not listed among the nuts that are subject to mandatory allergen labelling under European law but may cause concern among people with nut allergy. World allergy experts based in Nebraska, USA, believe the risk from refined shea nut butter to be minimal. The Food Allergy Research and Resource Programme (FARRP), an organisation with recognised expertise in food allergy, reported in July 2009 that an exhaustive search of the worldwide clinical literature provided no evidence of any allergic reactions being reported to shea nut oil. Allergic reactions to shea nuts themselves have not been described either although they are not widely eaten. A statement published on the FARRP website said research indicated that shea nut butter does not contain any detectable protein residues. Research also indicates that shea nut butter does not contain any detectable protein residues. Since allergens are proteins, this research indicates the absence of detectable allergens in shea nut butter. The conclusion would seem to be that any allergenic risk from refined shea nut oil is remote. On the basis of this research, we are confident that the presence of shea oil in our chocolate products does not compromise our Kinnerton ‘Nut safety Promise’ and our loyal nut allergic consumers.
Yes, it is exactly the same recipe as last year. There is a new EU Food Ingredients Regulation (FIR) that comes into force in Dec 2014 which requires food manufacturers to declare the breakdown of all vegetable oils as part of the ingredient list. This is why you are starting to see Shea nut oil appearing on our packaging. This recipe is supplied by some of the world’s largest chocolate producers and has been in its current format for over 5 years.
Research and clinical studies into allergens are being undertaken all the time. As a business we keep in touch with new pieces of research that may be relevant to our products and values. We take our guidance from Industry bodies such as the Anaphylaxis Campaign who are the experts in this field.
What is a Food Allergy?
A food allergy is when the body’s immune system reacts abnormally to specific types of foods, which are normally not harmful to the majority of people. The reaction occurs within minutes or up to two hours following ingestion of the food and symptoms vary from abdominal cramps, hives, vomiting, swelling of tongue and throat and difficulty breathing however, it can sometimes be extremely serious and potentially fatal (anaphylaxis). Total avoidance of the food that causes the allergy should be advised to prevent these symptoms. Therefore all allergens must be labelled on foods even if present in small quantities or if the manufacturer cannot guarantee the products does not contain small amounts of the foods.
The 14 foods classified as allergen which must be named as ingredients if they are present in pre–packed foods. These are:
- Cereals containing gluten (wheat, rye, barley, oats spelt)
- Crustaceans (e.g. crab or prawns)
- Molluscs (e.g. mussels or oysters)
- Nuts (e.g. almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, pistachios and macadamia nuts)
- Sesame seeds
- Sulphur dioxide or sulphites (preservatives used in some foods and drinks) at levels above 10mg per kg or per litre.
For more information on food allergies and anaphylaxis look at the following websites:
What is a Food Intolerance?
Food intolerance is where the body shows an adverse reaction to a particular food and is the response from the digestive system rather than the immune system. The symptoms are normally delayed and usually occur several hours after consuming the food. Some people can tolerate a reasonable amount of the food before the body has adverse reactions and the symptoms are generally varied and can include fatigue, joint pains, night sweats, gastrointestinal symptoms, skin rashes, eczema and other chronic conditions.
One of the causes of food intolerance can be due to insufficient amounts of the enzymes that breakdown the food, for example lactose intolerance is when the body lacks the enzyme lactase that breaks down lactose (milk sugar). Lactose is then indigestible as it is too big to be absorbed across the gut wall, causing gut spasm, pain, bloating and diarrhoea. Other possible causes are from naturally occurring chemicals and additives.
Special Dietary Requirements:
Coeliac disease is not classified as either a food allergy or intolerance but as an autoimmune disease of the small intestine, whereby the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues. In coeliac disease, eating gluten causes the lining of the small intestine to become damaged. The only treatment for coeliac disease is strict adherence to a lifelong gluten-free diet.
Gluten is a protein found in the cereals wheat, rye and barley therefore you must exclude these cereals in a gluten free diet to help control symptoms and prevent long term health consequences. A diet should instead consists of naturally gluten-free foods such as meat, fruit, vegetables, most dairy products, potatoes, rice and lentils, processed foods which contain no gluten or gluten free substitute foods that are specially made for people with coeliac disease for example gluten free bread, flour pasta and biscuits.