Keep this in mind when you are reading the corn allergens list: the items on the list might not always be derived from corn, but all CAN be derived from corn. This is probably the hardest thing for those new to a corn allergy to understand!
Some manufacturers will honestly disclose the source of their ingredients so we can determine if it is a corn derivative or derived/manufactured from something else. However, these days I do not bother to contact manufacturers anymore. I've had too many phone calls where, even if they know where their distributors get the ingredients from, they are quick to reassure that "there's no corn" in their products.
Another concern with corn derivatives is that there are new ones all the time! Good scientists in commercial labs all over the country are looking for more ways to use corn every day. For example, polysorbate 80 (an emulsifier used generally to prevent different liquids from separating) can be derived from animals, fruits or vegetables, including corn. How do we know what it's from? We don't! And that's a big problem. A major reason I recommend organic food brands over commercial brands is not because they are less likely to use corn (remember: corn can be organic too); it's because they are more likely to disclose what the ingredient in question is derived from.
Here are some links for lists of items derived from corn provided by actual corn producers.
- Corn Products Directory
- Corn Products International
- Corn Products US
- Corn Resources - Corn Products
- Corn Uses
- A Zillion Uses for Corn
Some of these links don't provide lists on the page, but drop-down lists. Just look at those to see how pervasive corn is in our lives.