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Allergen

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AllerGene©, the Answer to the EU Allergen Hit List

Facts About Food Allergies and Coeliac Disease

Food allergies: In developed countries prevalence ranges from 4-8% in infants to perhaps 1% in adults. Range of reactions: reduction of quality of life to life-threatening anaphylactic shock.

Coeliac disease: Most common genetic disease in Europe with 1 in 200 to 300 people. Autoimmune disease caused by gluten from cereals, which damages the small intestine mucosa and interferes with the absorption of nutrients.

Prevention by extensive information of consumers about potential contaminations, ingredients and additives in food.

Labelling Legislation

EU-directive 2003/89/EG on ingredient labelling requires that all substances on an allergen hit list have to be labelled as ingredients, if they are present as ingredients in the product. The directive has become national law since November 25, 2004 and industry and trade will have one year time to conform.

Contamination of food with allergens by cross-contacts is an important product liability issue. Labelling of allergens as "may contain" is ongoing practice in the USA, UK and Sweden.

The EU Allergen Hit List

  • Cereals with gliadin/gluten
  • Crustaceae
  • Eggs, fish, peanuts, soy beans
  • Milk and dairy products (including lactose)
  • Tree nuts (e.g. hazelnut, Brazil nut, almonds, walnut)
  • Sesame seeds, celery, mustard and the pseudo allergen sulphite

Facts About Some Important Allergens and Intolerances

  • Peanut: Nearly 7-10% of the total protein content (about 25%) consists of allergenic proteins (i.e. Arachine, Conarachine). Levels identified below 10 ppm are not known to trigger an allergic reaction.
  • Egg: 9-11% of egg white consists of protein. Main allergens: ovomucoid (11% of egg white protein), ovalbumin (54%), ovotransferrin (12%) and lysozyme (3.5%). The allergenic potential of egg yolk is only moderate.
  • Dairy allergen: ß-Lactoglobulin (BLG) and casein are major components of cow milk and whey and are allergens that have been attributed to a wide-spread incidence of infant and childhood milk allergies.
  • Gluten: "Gluten free" means that the total amount of gluten present should not be more than 200 ppm (mg/kg) on a dry basis.
  • Soya bean: one of the foods that account most frequently for severe allergic reactions. With a detection limit of only 0.5 % ELISAs may not be sensitive enough for testing. Alternatively PCR is recommended with a detection limit of approximately 0.01 % (weight/weight) or less, depending on the matrix.

What is Allergene

  • A full combination testing program for all allergens/intolerances on the EU allergen hit list
  • Consists of chemical, enzymatic, molecularbiological and immunological methods to test for proteins, DNA, lactose and sulphite
  • We advice you on the optimal testing combination to match your specific needs
  • We provide swab tests, training, consulting, risk assessment and auditing for GMO and allergen issues, also regarding the International Food Standard, IFS

Further Services

  • Swab tests - we provide the swabs and analysis, you do the swabbing
  • Audits, consulting and training of personnel
  • Risk assessment: tell us your problem, we assess your actual risks