Food-Sourced allergens: do new food ingredients mean new allergens?


Ray A. Matulka
Director of Toxicology
Burdock Group Consultants,

Global food availability has been steadily increasing, due to local production efficiencies, improvements in delivery logistics and not the least from the development of new foods and new/novel food ingredients; as a result, there is an increased ability to provide a wider diversity of foods to a greater number of people. The combination of new foods and a new population of naïve consumers might suggest that a greater number of people will report adverse reactions, specifically a potential increase in allergic reactions. While more than 170 foods have been reported to cause allergic reactions, there are several major groups of foods that cause the majority of allergens. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) found that the majority of allergenic responses are derived from cereals containing gluten, milk and dairy products, eggs, nuts, peanuts, soy, fish, crustaceans, mollusks, celery, lupin, sesame, mustard and sulphites (1). The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) similarly states that milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soybeans account for 90% of the allergic reactions to foods, such that foods must be clearly labeled to contain, or b ...