As a producer of the Italian “Black Gold”, we believe it is highly important to talk about the undesirable effects that may be caused in some people after the consumption of Balsamic Vinegar. Exactly as in case of other condiments, it is possible that some consumers may wonder about a possible intolerance to Balsamic Vinegar of Modena. However, it is appropriate to point out to the reader in the first place that allergies and food intolerances are both reactions of the body to certain foods, but are caused by different mechanisms.
Differences Between Allergy and Intolerance
A food allergy is an abnormal immune reaction of the body to a particular substance(s) in food. When the immune system recognizes a substance as dangerous, it produces antibodies (called IgE) to fight this substance. This condition can cause symptoms such as swelling of the lips, throat or face, hives, breath difficulties and in some case anaphylactic shock. The most common food allergies are caused by peanuts, milk, eggs, fish and shellfish.
Food intolerance, on the other hand, is an adverse reaction to a substance present in food. It does not cause an immune response, but symptoms such as bloating, diarrhea, abdominal pain and headaches. The most common food intolerance is lactose intolerance, caused by a lack of an enzyme called lactase that leads to the digestion of lactose present in milk and dairy products.
In other words, allergies can be considered as more serious reactions, able to cause anaphylactic reactions, while intolerances normally cause only digestive symptoms.
Am I intolerant to Balsamic Vinegar of Modena?
The intolerance to Balsamic Vinegar of Modena is a rare condition, when the digestive system of an individual is particularly sensible to the famous condiment. This intolerance can manifest itself with symptoms such as itching, swelling, breath difficulties, skin rashes and diarrhea. However, if these reactions also occur immediately after the ingestion of small quantities of chocolate, red wine, salami or tomatoes, then probably we are facing a histamine intolerance, not only Balsamic Vinegar intolerance. Obviously, in order to diagnose the eventual intolerances, it is necessary to consult a doctor, who will proceed to prescribe the appropriate tests and to cross-reference the results with the patient’s symptoms.
In general, it is important to underline that Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PDO is a very rare condition and most people can consume PDO Balsamico without problems. Indeed, its extraordinarily simple ingredients and the natural production method make it an easy product for the body to assimilate, and thus it could be a perfect condiment for most people. A separate discussion should be made for the Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PGI, which contains more ingredients and undergoes a different aging process. We invite you to read our blog article on the differences between PDO and PGI products.
In conclusion, however, we can reassure our readers that Balsamic Vinegar intolerance exists, but it is an extremely rare condition. The probability of being intolerant to balsamic vinegar is therefore close to zero, and depriving yourself of it for fear would be a real pity. For a regularly used Balsamic Vinegar of Modena is a benefit for the body and a delicacy for the palate.