Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to the Spoon Guru FAQ page. Here you can find information on our policies and definitions, as well as useful tips and links. If you have any questions that aren’t answered here, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

 


 

 

Headline Policy

Spoon Guru takes a strict view and excludes ingredients irrespective of the amount included. However, users have the flexibility to include or exclude products with “may contain” statements.

 

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How are our Spoon Guru lifestyle diets defined?

 


Low fat

Spoon Guru uses the “traffic light” food labelling system as developed by the Food Standards Agency and the Department of Health to develop a threshold value for low fat.

Click here for further information on the “traffic light” food labelling system.

Note: Nutrient values are based on UK recommendations and might not be applicable to other countries.


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Low sugar

Spoon Guru uses the “traffic light” food labelling system as developed by the Food Standards Agency and the Department of Health to develop a threshold value for low sugar.

Further information on the “traffic light” food labelling system.

Note: Nutrient values are based on UK recommendations and might not be applicable to other countries.


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Organic

Products are considered “organic” if the manufacturer provides this statement on their label. All recipes are considered “organic” and we recommend that you choose organically sourced ingredients to create the recipe.


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Paleo

Due to the lack of a clear definition of this diet, Spoon Guru has come to a consensus view based on the available literature.

We consider the following foods suitable for anyone following a paleo diet: Fresh Meat; Fish; Eggs; Fruit; Vegetables; Potatoes; Nuts; Seeds; Honey; Oils: olive oil, walnut oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, flaxseed oil, macadamia nut oil.

We consider the following foods as not suitable for anyone following a paleo diet: Cereals (including all Gluten containing Grains); Dairy; Sugars; Sweeteners; E-numbers; Refined Fats; Processed Meats; Beans; Pulses & Peas including Lupin; Dairy; Alcohol; Salt; Preservatives including Sulphites.


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Palm Oil Free

We exclude all names for palm oil, including but not limited to palmate, palmitate, palmolein, palm fruit oil, palm kernel oil, amongst others. All palm oil is excluded, including products labelled ‘sustainable palm oil’.


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Pescetarian

Includes: All plant derived food products such as: Grains; Fruit; Vegetables; Beans, Pulses & Peas; Dairy; Eggs; Honey; all Fish & Shellfish.

Excludes: All other Meat and Meat derived products.

The ‘No May Contain Meat’ subcategory: Any product with the statement “not suitable for, may contain, produced in a factory that contains meat (e.g. gelatine)” is excluded when this subcategory is selected. This function enables those individuals who can tolerate trace levels of a specific ingredient to determine how strict they want to be.


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Vegan

Includes: All plant-derived foods such as Grains; Fruit; Vegetables; Beans, Pulses & Peas.

Excludes: Food products derived from animals, including Meat; Fish; Shellfish; Dairy; Eggs; Honey. Spoon Guru will also exclude obscure typically non-vegan ingredients such as Vitamin D3, Casein, Carmine (E120), and Lanolin.

The ‘No May Contain Egg / Milk / Fish / Shellfish / Meat’ subcategories: Any product with the statement “not suitable for, may contain, produced in a factory that contains egg / milk / fish / shellfish / meat (e.g. gelatine)” is excluded when these subcategories are selected. This function enables those individuals who can tolerate trace levels of a specific ingredient to determine how strict they want to be.

For further information on a vegan lifestyle diet, please refer to The Vegan Society and Veganuary.


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Vegetarian

Includes: All plant derived foods such as Grains; Fruit; Vegetables; Beans, Pulses & Peas; Dairy; Eggs; Honey.

Excludes: All products derived from Meat; Fish; Shellfish.

The ‘No May Contain Fish / Shellfish / Meat’ subcategories: Any product with the statement “not suitable for, may contain, produced in a factory that contains fish / shellfish / meat (e.g. gelatine)” is excluded when these subcategories are selected. This function enables those individuals who can tolerate trace levels of a specific ingredient to determine how strict they want to be.

For further information on a vegetarian lifestyle diet, please see The Vegetarian Society.


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Vegetarian (lacto)

Includes: All plant derived foods such as Grains; Fruit; Vegetables; Beans, Pulses & Peas; Dairy; Honey.

Excludes: Eggs; Meat; Fish & Shellfish products.

The ‘No May Contain Egg / Fish / Shellfish / Meat’ subcategories: Any product with the statement “not suitable for, may contain, produced in a factory that contains egg / fish / shellfish / meat (e.g. gelatine)” is excluded when these subcategories are selected. This function enables those individuals who can tolerate trace levels of a specific ingredient to determine how strict they want to be.


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Vegetarian (ovo)

Includes: All plant derived foods such as Grains; Fruit; Vegetables; Beans, Pulses & Peas;  Eggs; Honey.

Excludes: Milk, including all Dairy products; Meat; Fish & Shellfish products.

The ‘No May Contain Milk / Fish / Shellfish / Meat’ subcategories: Any product with the statement “not suitable for, may contain, produced in a factory that contains milk / fish / shellfish / meat (e.g. gelatine)” is excluded when these subcategories are selected. This function enables those individuals who can tolerate trace levels of a specific ingredient to determine how strict they want to be.


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Yeast Avoidance

Excludes: Products containing Baker’s Yeast (S. cerevisiae), Brewer’s Yeast, Mycoprotein, Cheese. See below for more detail:

Baker’s Yeast: The majority of baked goods are produced using baker’s yeast (S. cerevisiae), therefore we will exclude ingredients such as bread, bread roll, croissant, pastries, doughnut, chelsea bun, muffins and crumpets.

Brewers Yeast: Used in the production of alcohol such as wine, beer, and cider

Mycoprotein: Also known as fungal protein, this protein from fungi could exist within the yeast family. Quorn and other mycoprotein sources, unless specifically stated that product is yeast-free, will be excluded.

Cheese: All cheese is considered unsuitable for someone who wants to exclude yeast unless the product specifically states that it is yeast free.

Naturally occurring yeasts: These yeasts can grow on the skins of fruits such as grapes, apples and peaches and berries such as gooseberries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries. These will be tagged as “may contain yeast”.

The ‘No May Contain Yeast’ subcategory: Any product with the statement “not suitable for, may contain, produced in a factory that contains Yeast” is excluded when this subcategory is selected, as are products that may contain naturally occurring yeasts, as noted above. This function enables those individuals who can tolerate trace levels of a specific ingredient to determine how strict they want to be.

For further information on yeast sensitivity, please see the factsheet produced by Allergy UK


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How are our Spoon Guru intolerances defined?

Currently the Spoon Guru app supports the 14 major allergens in the United Kingdom. By law, presence of these allergens must be clearly listed in the ingredients list. Spoon Guru takes the strictest route possible with regards to the presence of allergens in a product or recipe and will exclude accordingly.


 

Celery

Excludes: Any food product or recipe containing celery, as well as celeriac.

The ‘May Also Contain Celery’ subcategory: Any product with the statement “not suitable for, may contain, produced in a factory that contains celery” are excluded when this subcategory is selected. This function enables those individuals, who can tolerate trace levels of a specific allergen, to determine how strict they want to be.

For further information on celery allergy, please see the following fact sheet produced by Anaphylaxis campaign.

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Egg

Excludes: Any food product or recipe containing egg (egg white and egg yolk) or any egg derivatives. We exclude all forms of egg including well-cooked, loosely cooked, and raw. “Egg” can refer to eggs from laying hens as well as eggs from other birds, such as duck, turkey, quail, goose, gull, and guinea fowl.

The ‘May Also Contain Egg’ subcategory: Any product with the statement “not suitable for, may contain, produced in a factory that contains egg” are excluded when this subcategory is selected. This function enables those individuals, who can tolerate trace levels of a specific allergen, to determine how strict they want to be.

For further information on egg allergy, please see the following fact sheet produced by Allergy UK.

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Fish

With regards to seafood, the ability to exclude fish or shellfish are offered in separate categories. Please refer to the shellfish section for our definition of shellfish. Please also note that crustaceans and molluscs are included in our definition of shellfish and not fish..

Excludes: Any food product or recipe containing “Fish”. Spoon Guru app users can select the “Fish” category as a whole, or individually select separate species of fish depending on personal preference or intolerance. This differs to shellfish, crustaceans, and molluscs.

The ‘May Also Contain Fish’ subcategory: Any product with the statement “not suitable for, may contain, produced in a factory that contains fish” are excluded when this subcategory is selected. This function enables those individuals, who can tolerate trace levels of a specific allergen, to determine how strict they want to be.

For further information on fish allergy, please see the following fact sheet produced by Allergy UK.

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FODMAP

Due to the complexity of the low FODMAP diet, Spoon Guru will only be of use in initial strict restriction phase of the low FODMAP diet.

It is important to work with your FODMAP trained Registered Dietitian whilst following the low FODMAP diet.

Fermentable, Oligo-saccharides, Di-saccharides, Mono-saccharides And Polyols (FODMAPs) are a group of carbohydrates that may contribute to symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Sources of FODMAPs include:

  • Fructans – chains of fructose. Sources include wheat and rye, various fruits and vegetables, added ingredients such as fructose-oligosaccardies (FOS), oligofructose and inulin.
  • Galacto-oligosaccarides (GOS) – chains of galactose. Sources include pulses and legumes.
  • Polyols – sugar alcohols. Sources include various fruit and vegetables, sugar-free chewing gum and mints.
  • Fructose – a single unit of sugar. Sources include various fruit, honey and agave nectar.
  • Lactose – a double unit of sugar found in milk.

If a food is medium or high FODMAP then it will be excluded when selecting the ‘FODMAP’ profile within the Spoon Guru app. Low FODMAP foods are allowed. Foods that have not been tested yet, and their low, medium and high rank unknown, will be allowed on the Spoon Guru FODMAP profile.  Spoon Guru will be updated on a regular basis to account for testing of new foods so that we can exclude accordingly.

Important information regarding the low FODMAP diet:

The Spoon Guru app should be used as an information resource only. It’s not a replacement for medical advice.

We advise you follow the low FODMAP diet under the supervision of a Registered Dietitian using the app for inspiration only.

Unnecessary long term restriction of FODMAP containing foods is not recommended due to potential risk of inadequate nutrient intake and other adverse effects. Consult your FODMAP trained Registered Dietitian to ensure you are following the FODMAP diet correctly.

For further information on the low FODMAP diet, please read our article.

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Gluten & Wheat

Excludes: All gluten containing grains such as Wheat, Rye, Barley, and Triticale. We exclude all forms of wheat including but not limited to Durum Wheat, Spelt, Kamut®, Khorasan, Einkorn, Farro, Emmer, Couscous, Wheat Bran, Farina, Wheat Germ, and Semolina.

Oats – Oats are subject to cross contamination if produced in the same environment of gluten containing grains. Spoon Guru excludes oats when a user selects the gluten profile due to the risk of cross-contamination.

The ‘May Also Contain Gluten/Wheat’ subcategory: Any product with the statement “not suitable for, may contain, produced in a factory that contains Gluten/Wheat” is excluded when this subcategory is selected. This function enables those individuals, who can tolerate trace levels of a specific allergen, to determine how strict they want to be.

For additional information on gluten and wheat, please read the following fact sheet produced by Allergy UK.

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Lupin

Excludes: Any food product or recipe that states Lupin. This include seeds of the lupin flower which are ground to make lupin flour, typically used in baking.

The ‘May Also Contain Lupin’ subcategory: Any product with the statement “not suitable for, may contain, produced in a factory that contains Lupin” is excluded when this subcategory is selected. This function enables those individuals, who can tolerate trace levels of a specific allergen, to determine how strict they want to be.

For further information on lupin allergy, please see the following document produced by Anaphylaxis Campaign.

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Milk (including all dairy products)

Excludes: All milk and dairy products such as all cheese; yoghurt; cream; anything that contains lactose and/or milk proteins. Spoon Guru app users can select the “Milk” category as a whole, or individually select separate types of milk by animal, depending on personal preference or intolerance. If the product or recipe does not specify the origin of the source of milk, we assume cow’s milk.

The ‘May Also Contain Milk’ subcategory: Any product with the statement “not suitable for, may contain, produced in a factory that contains Milk / Dairy / Lactose” is excluded when this subcategory is selected. This function enables those individuals, who can tolerate trace levels of a specific allergen, to determine how strict they want to be.

For further information on milk allergy, please see the following fact sheet produced by Allergy UK.
For further information on dairy intolerance, please see the following fact sheet produced by Allergy UK.

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Mustard

Excludes: Any food product or recipe that specifically states mustard, including white mustard, yellow mustard, brown mustard, indian mustard, or black mustard. This includes seeds  of the mustard plant.

The ‘May Also Contain Mustard’ subcategory: Any product with the statement “not suitable for, may contain, produced in a factory that contains Mustard” is excluded when this subcategory is selected. This function enables those individuals, who can tolerate trace levels of a specific allergen, to determine how strict they want to be.

For further information on mustard allergy, please see the following fact sheet produced by Anaphylaxis Campaign.

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Nuts & Peanuts

Excludes: Any food product or recipe that contains tree nuts (such as almonds, cashews, brazil nuts) and peanuts (a legume also known as monkey nut or ground nut). When this category is selected as a whole,  any food product or recipe containing nuts or peanuts, including all nut and peanut (arachis) oil, are excluded. Spoon Guru app users can select the “Nuts & Peanuts” category as a whole, or individually select separate types of nut, depending on personal preference or intolerance.

Peanut: Peanuts, a legume, is included in this category due to user feedback and ease of locating within the application.

Coconut: Despite the misleading “nut” in its name, coconut is classified as a seed in the UK and therefore appears in the Spoon Guru seed category.

The ‘May Also Contain Peanuts’ and ‘May Also Contain Tree Nuts’ subcategories: Any product with the statement “not suitable for, may contain, produced in a factory that contains Nuts” is excluded when this subcategory is selected. This function enables those individuals, who can tolerate trace levels of a specific allergen, to determine how strict they want to be.

For further information on tree nut and peanut allergy, please see the following fact sheet produced by Allergy UK.

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Pulses, beans & peas

Excludes: Any food product or recipe that contains pulses including beans, peas, and lentils and any derived products. Spoon Guru app users can select the “Pulses, Beans & Peas” category as a whole, or individually select separate types of pulse, bean, or pea, depending on personal preference or intolerance.

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Seeds

Excludes: Any food product or recipe that contains seeds such as sunflower seed, mustard seed, poppy seed, rapeseed, cottonseed, flaxseed, and poppy seed. Spoon Guru app users can select the “Seeds” category as a whole, or individually select separate types of seed depending on personal preference or intolerance.

Coconut: Despite the misleading “nut” in its name, coconut is classified as a seed in the UK and therefore appears in the Spoon Guru seed category.

The ‘May Also Contain Seeds’ subcategory: Any product with the statement “not suitable for, may contain, produced in a factory that contains Seeds” is excluded when this subcategory is selected. This function enables those individuals, who can tolerate trace levels of a specific allergen, to determine how strict they want to be.

For further information on seed allergy, please see the following fact sheet produced by Allergy UK.

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Sesame

Excludes: Any food product or recipe that contains any form of sesame, including sesame seeds, sesame oil, and sesame derived products such as hummus, tahini and halvah.

The ‘May Also Contain Sesame’ subcategory: Any product with the statement “not suitable for, may contain, produced in a factory that contains Sesame” is excluded when this subcategory is selected. This function enables those individuals, who can tolerate trace levels of a specific allergen, to determine how strict they want to be.

For further information on sesame allergy, please see the following fact sheet produced by Allergy UK.

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Shellfish

With regards to seafood, the ability to exclude fish or shellfish are offered in separate categories. Please refer to the fish section for our definition of fish. Please also note that crustaceans and molluscs are included in our definition of shellfish.

Excludes: Any food product or recipe that contains crustaceans or molluscs. “Crustaceans” includes all types of crustaceans such as lobster, crab, prawns, and langoustines. “Molluscs” includes any species of mollusc for example oyster, squid, cockles, mussels, winkle and scallops, as well as land molluscs like snails. Spoon Guru app users can select the “Shellfish” category as a whole, or individually select separate species of shellfish, crustaceans, and molluscs, depending on personal preference or intolerance.

The ‘May Also Contain Crustaceans’, ‘May Also Contain Molluscs’, and ‘May Also Contain Shellfish’ subcategories: Any product with the statement “not suitable for, may contain, produced in a factory that contains Shellfish / Mollusc / Crustacean” is excluded when this subcategory is selected. This function enables those individuals, who can tolerate trace levels of a specific allergen, to determine how strict they want to be.

For further information on fish allergy, please see the following fact sheet produced by Allergy UK.

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Six Food Exclusion Diet

Important information regarding the Six Food Exclusion Diet:

The Spoon Guru app should be used as an information resource only. It’s not a replacement for medical advice. We advise you follow the six food exclusion diet under the supervision of a Registered Dietitian using the app for inspiration only.

The Six Food Exclusion Diet (SFED) is intended only for those who have Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE), an immune/antigen-mediated disease. The diet involves removal of the 6 food groups most likely to induce an allergic reaction: cow’s milk, eggs, wheat, fish / shellfish, tree nuts / peanuts, and soy. Following removal of all six, sequential introduction of all excluded single foods is undertaken to determine tolerance levels under the close supervision of a Registered Dietitian.

The ‘No May Contain Milk’, ‘No May Contain Egg’, ‘No May Contain Shellfish’, ‘No May Contain Soya’, ‘No May Contain Wheat’, ‘No May Contain Fish/Shellfish’, and  ‘No May Contain Tree Nuts or Peanuts’ subcategories: Any product with the statement “not suitable for, may contain, produced in a factory that contains [milk, soya, wheat, egg, fish & shellfish, tree nuts & peanuts]” is excluded when this subcategory is selected. This function enables those individuals who can tolerate trace levels of a specific ingredient, to not have to be unnecessarily restrictive. This should be decided by your Dietitian. 

For further information on the Six Food Exclusion Diet please refer to this post.

 

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Soya

Excludes: Any food product or recipe that contains soya (also known as soy). All forms of soya such as soy flour, soya milk, whole soybeans, edamame (immature soybeans), soy sauce, soya oil, soya lecithin are excluded.

The ‘May Also Contain Soya’ subcategory: Any product with the statement “not suitable for, may contain, produced in a factory that contains Soya” are excluded when this subcategory is selected. This function enables those individuals who can tolerate trace levels of a specific allergen to determine how strict they want to be.

For further information on soy allergy, please see the following fact sheet produced by Allergy UK.

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Sulphites

Excludes: Any food product or recipe that contains sulphites. This includes sulphur dioxide, sodium metabisulphite, potassium metabisulphite, sodium hydrogen sulphite, calcium sulphite, calcium hydrogen sulphite, and potassium hydrogen sulphite.  

The ‘May Also Contain Sulphites’ subcategory: Any product with the statement “not suitable for, may contain, produced in a factory that contains Sulphites” is excluded when this subcategory is selected. This function enables those individuals who can tolerate trace levels of a specific allergen to determine how strict they want to be.

For further information on sulphite sensitivity, please see the following factsheet produced by Anaphylaxis Campaign.

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If you would like more information on specific ingredient enquires please don’t hesitate to contact us. Please email hello@spoon.guru and we will be more than happy to answer any questions.


 

Help, I have a question and I need an answer

You can search our knowledge base and blog for a solution. If you can’t find an answer, please submit a request by emailing help@spoon.guru at any time or contact us on our social media channels.

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May contain product statements

Spoon Guru offers the option to select or deselect “May Contain” statements where Food Intolerances or Lifestyle Diets have been selected as part of the user profile. This function enables those individuals who can tolerate trace levels of a specific allergen or ingredient to determine how strict they want to be.

As default, when a top level major category is selected, Spoon Guru automatically excludes products that “May Contain” the allergen but don’t necessarily contain the allergen in the ingredients list. If you can tolerate trace levels of a specific allergen, you can deselect this in the subcategory options.

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Useful tips

How to filter results from a Spoon Guru search

 

How to exclude an ingredient in a Spoon Guru search

 

How to report an error in the iOS Spoon Guru app

 

How to report an error in the Android Spoon Guru app

 

Click through for more useful tips.

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Is Spoon Guru 100% accurate?

Spoon Guru is the world’s leading safe, accurate, easy to use, food preference management tool. We believe that catering for any food preference should be effortless, and we have designed the Spoon Guru app to save you time and provide a reliable and  inspiring choice of food that’s right for you. Because with the right tools, you can achieve anything!

Our team of Registered Nutritionists are dedicated to analysing food products and recipes to ensure they accurately match your dietary profile.  However, as we are dependent on data supplied by food manufacturers and recipe writers, we are not able to guarantee that all information supplied to us is 100% accurate.

Spoon Guru recommends that you always double check product labels and recipe ingredients to ensure they are suitable for you and, if do you find a discrepancy, please don’t hesitate to report it to us.

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Does Spoon Guru offer Medical Advice?

While Registered Nutritionists and Dietitians make up an integral part of the Spoon Guru team, we do not offer medical advice.

The Spoon Guru app provides information designed to help you save time and effortlessly find a larger range of suitable food, but should not be used as an alternative to medical advice.

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By | 2017-06-13T15:00:38+00:00 January 31st, 2017|Blog, Fact Sheets, Spoon Guru News|0 Comments