List of Foods Containing Balsam of Peru

Balsam of Peru comes from the bark of a tree originally found in El Salvador, which was then part of Peru. Some people are allergic to this sticky liquid, which smells a bit like cinnamon and vanilla and is used to flavor some foods and drinks. Skin reactions such as a rash tend to be most common, but other potential allergy symptoms could include swelling of the mouth and throat and difficulty breathing. People who have such allergies should avoid foods containing balsam of Peru or chemically similar substances 1.

Foods of Concern

Foods containing benzoic acid and similar preservatives may contain balsam of Peru 1. Other foods to avoid include:

  • marmalade
  • ice cream
  • all spices
  • liver pate
  • pickled foods
  • ketchup
  • chutney
  • commercially prepared sauces