Protect your company from food allergens. (April/May 2009) Food Quality. (16) 4:22-28.
from the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network report that one in 25 adults and one in 17
children suffer from food allergies. Legislation which tries to control allergens include:
Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Management Act (FAAMA), Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer
Protection Act (FALCPA). Provides an overview for milk allergens, egg allergens, soy
allergens, fish, shellfish, wheat, tree nuts, and peanuts. The following companies
provides food allergen detection kits: SafePath Laboratories, BioKits Gluten Assay Kit,
and Geonon Laboratories.
overview. (March 2008) Bakers Journal.
Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) lists the following as food allergens that need to be
declared: peanuts, tree nuts, sesame seeds, milk, eggs, fish, soy, wheat, and sulphides.
The article briefly discusses components of the ingredients responsible for allergic
reactions. Includes the following table "Allergenic ingredients that need to be
declared in the U.S., the E.U. and Japan compared to Canada."
Jennifer. (September 2008). Baking &
Snack (30)8: 57-8, 60, 62, 64.
all-natural and organic trend is appearing in new products being introduced in the baking
mix category along with a growing number of gluten-free mixes. Recent data has found that 1 out of 133 individuals
have Celiac Disease (gluten intolerance). Baking
mix companies profiled are Naturally Nora, a line of all-natural cakes and frosting mixes;
Pamelas Products, wheat- and gluten-free mixes (baking, pancake, bread and cake mixes);
Chebe Bread Products, maker of wheat-, non-GMA-, gluten- and yeast-free baking mixes with
bread products including Brazilian cheese bread, pao de queijo, and Chebe bread mixes
offered in bread, pizza crust, bread stick, foccacia and
cinnamon roll-up varieties, five of the products are are lactose- and casein-free; Lollipop Tree a fat-free baking mix line made with
70% organic ingredients; Simply Organic, gluten- and trans-fat-free mixes made with
organic spices and seasonings with mixes including banana bread, carrot cake, Chai spice
scone and biscotti.. Comments on consumer perception of baking mixes are given by James
White, president of Lucerne Foods ; Nora Schulz, Nora Schulz, founder Naturally Nora;
Stephanie Robbins, director of marketing, Pamela's Products; George Manak, vice-president
of marketing, Southern Mills; Laurie Lynch, founder of Lollipop Tree.
Flanagan, S. Freedom
from allergen risk. (April/May 2008) Food
Quality. (15) 2: 30-36
"free-from" sector of food manufacturing must be especially vigilant in insuring
the integrity of their allergen-free products. This article offers an allergen-free
strategy that covers the following area: training and communication, raw material and
supply chain, monitoring and review, plant sanitation, premises, equipment, and processes,
Hefle, Susan. Producing allergen-free goods.
(October 2008) Baking Buyer. (20) 7:79.
offers advice for food processors to eliminate allergen cross-contamination. Topics
include: possible processing errors/oversights, operations strategies, clean-up testing
procedures, labeling strategies, and product development strategies.
Facing the Allergen Challenge. (March 2008) Modern Baking,
Supplement Healthy Baking Guidebook.
With FALCPA (Food Allergen Labeling and
Consumer Protection Act) in effect, food manufacturers must now label the big eight
allergens including peanut, soybeans, fish, crustaceans, milk, tree nuts, eggs, and wheat.
Discusses how to deal with contamination, and how to remove allergens.
Katherine. Behind the Buzz of Gluten
Free. Modern Baking (22) 3: 43, 46, 48.
producing more gluten-free products as the number of individuals with celiac disease
increases. According to the University of
Marilyn Center for Celiac Research the number of individuals that suffer from the disease
is one in 133 or 2.2 million. Bakeries that
have addressed the growing segment for gluten free products highlighted include
Rheinlander Bakery in Arvada, Colo; Mariposa Bakery in Oakland, Calif; and The Silly Yak Bakery & Bread Barn in Madison,
WI. The availability of more ingredient
options for formulating gluten free products has enabled bakers to produce products that
"taste good for the whole family". Some
of the new ingredient choices available include quinoa,
amaranth, millet, teff and rice flour. Gluten free formulas are harder to work with
than traditional wheat flour products and special considerations should be taken to make
sure that cross-contamination does not occur. Some
provisions that should be considered are separate areas for storing gluten free
ingredients, use of separate utensils and pans and extra cleaning. Includes a bar graph projects annual sales
of gluten-free foods to reach $1.7 billion by 2010.
Neil. Testing for
allergens. (September 2008) Food Technology. (62) 9:70-74.
With the 2004
Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act, manufacturers are required to label
products containing the 8 major allergens (milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree
nuts, peanuts, wheat & soybeans). This article reviews the types of tests for
detecting allergens, including ELISAs, swab kits, and lateral-flow devices. Discusses
harmonization, threshold levels, baseline, advanced testing methods, and the AOAC official
method. Includes list of allergen related papers presented at the 2008 IFT Annual Meeting.
Includes table entitled "Food allergen test methods undergoing validation for
acceptance as AOAC official methods."
2007 Journal Citations:
Suzanne. Eating Out When You Have An Allergy. (April 19, 2007) Wall Street
Journal. (249) 91: D3.
In the US
there are no required guidelines that restaurants must adhere to, though the FDA suggests
that they be aware of the eight leading food allergies. To the 8 million American
suffering from food allergies, eating out can be a potentially hazardous option. Research
was conducted about several of the major chain restaurants, their staff training, and
customers experience. The restaurants tested included Applebee's, Romano' Macaroni Grill,
P.F. Chang's China Bistro, Ruby Tuesdays, and T.G.I. Friday's. P.F.
Gluten-Free Increasing Opportunities With Increasing Awareness. (May/June
2007) Cereal Foods World. (52) 3: 150-151.
In the U.S. it
is estimated that 2.5 million people suffer from celiac disease, but up to 97% are as of
yet undiagnosed. The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 will
ensure that foods labels report use of the 8 major food allergies, including wheat. Debate
is still raging over weather gluten-free products must exclude oats.
Julie. Nutrition: Wheat Allergy and Introduction of Wheat. (September/October
2007) Cereal Foods World. (51) 5: 284.
While it has
been previously suggested that early exposure to wheat products increases the risk of
allergies, a study by the University of Denver contradicts this belief. Tracking the
development of wheat allergies in a group of 1,612 children (from birth-5 years), the
study revealed that those exposed to cereals before 6 months of age reported less wheat
Quinoa: A Traditional Andean Crop With New Horizons. (March/April 2007) Cereal
Foods World. (52) 2:88-90.
unique nutritional options, and could become a competitive addition on the International market. Currently grown in
Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina, the traditional growing method
poses some production limitations. Termed the "grain of the future" because of
its nutritional quality, quinoa has high protein content, high lysine content, and rich in
calcium, phosphorus, iron, fiber, and B vitamins. One of its most positive factors is that
it is gluten-free, making it attractive to individuals with wheat allergens.
Munoz, Sara. Nut and Dairy-Free
Sweets. (May 10, 2007) Wall Street Journal. (249) 109: D2.
Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network reports that around 12 million people must deal with
allergies and the difficulties of food selection. "Some small manufacturers are
rolling out peanut-, tree nut-, dairy-, and egg-free treats that promise to be tasty as
well as allergen-free." The following products were put through a taste test:
Divvies, Enjoy Life Cookies, Cherrybrook Kitchen baking mixes, and NoNuttin' Granola Bars.
& Goodman, R.E. The Safety and Allergenicity of Genetically Modified
Foods-Impact on the Global Markets for Cereals and Oilseeds (July/August 2007) Cereal
Foods World. (52) 4:174-178.
modified cereals and oilseeds have been strictly monitored for safety, and "have been
subjected to considerably more thorough safety assessments than have conventionally bred
crops and foods." While the authors believe
in the importance of adequate safety testing for allergens, they feel that "assessing
possible alterations in the endogenous allergenicity of a genetically modified food is of
questionable value, especially in situations such as corn and rice where the food has a
very low risk of allergenicity in the first place." Unproven methods of testing yield
questionable results, and limit the benefits of biotechnology in the food world through
adverse public exposure.
and Cross-Contact. (January 16, 2006),
The Food Institute Report (79) 2: 9.
online at: http://www.foodinstitute.com with paid membership
Food and Drug Administration's new guidance document that addresses
"unintentional"cross-contact of ingredients during harvesting, storage, and
processing called "Questions and Answers Regarding Food Allergens, including the Food
Allergen and Consumer Act of 2004 (FALCPA) (ed. 2)"
The document can be found at: http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/alrguid.html.
FDA's Response to
Response to Document on Allergen Labeling. (November 6, 2006), The Food Institute
Report (79) 44: 10-11. Available online
at: http://www.foodinstitute.com with paid membership
Highlights the document "FDA, Guidance for
Industry: Questions and Answers Regarding Food Allergens." Major food allergens must be declared in one of
two ways, the "contains" statement has a specific format to follow, clarifies
what "tree nuts", what fish or crustacean should be declared, includes a list of
what grains should be listed since wheat is an allergen, and that notes that single
ingredient items are subject to FALCPA labeling.
of the Cross-contact with Allergens. (October 2006). Prepared Foods (175) 10:
"The Center for Food Safety and
Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) has prepared a report examining issues relating to cross-contact
with food allergens to the manufacture and distribution of foods. The report notes the
continued use of current good manufacturing practices is 'critical to the reduction and
elimination of cross-contact.' It further finds that a high proportion of manufacturing
facilities have cross-contact control measures in place, regardless of whether the firms
uses advisory label. It goes into detail about consumers' advisory label preferences,
including believability and purchase likelihood."
Thresholds for Major Food Allergen And Gluten In Food. (June 5, 2006) The Food Institute Report (79) 22:
9-10. Available online
at: http://www.foodinstitute.com with paid
The Food and
Drug Administration has received the updated report
entitled, "Approaches to Establish Thresholds for Major Food Allergens and for Gluten
in Food." The updated report can be found at: http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/alrgn2.html. Gives the highlights of the report including
four thresholds, five findings for major food allergens and five findings to gluten in
foods. The findings also summarize the
approaches for establishing thresholds for allergens and gluten in food.
2003 Journal Citations:
Biegel, Bonnie. Food
Allergens. (2003) AIB Research
Department Technical Bulletin (25) 12:1-5.
The author reports that it is estimated that
between 6 and 7 million Americans have food allergies.
Because of this number, food allergies and reactions have increased the concerns of
food manufacturers. The author discusses food
allergens, allergic responses, regulatory concerns, allergen strategies, and allergen
awareness such as labeling and identifying major food allergens.
Conan, Kerri. The
Top 7 Things That Matter on the Food Label. (2003)
Health (17) 9:152-155.
The author gives advice on how to interpret
food labels in the U.S. Description on several food label designs. Consumers should know the lingo so that they can
make better and healthier choices in food. The
seven things that one should know include new health claims; trans-fats; where food comes
from; irradiating foods; growth hormones, antibiotics, and artificial dyes; genetic
engineering; and allergens.
Designing an Allergen Control Plan, (2003) Food
Quality (10) 4:20-22.
Discusses things to consider when developing
an allergen control program (ACP). Includes
a table with the top known allergens including the Big 8 American allergens, the list of
allergens from the European Council and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
Giese, James. Food
Allergen Testing. (2003) Food
Technology (57) 7:98-100.
It is estimated that 6 to 7 million people
in the U.S. suffer from food allergies, according to the National Institute of Health. Ninety percent of all allergies are from eight
foods or food groups: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, crustacean shellfish,
soybeans, and wheat. In these foods, the
allergens are naturally occurring proteins. People
with these allergies suffer from hives and mild gastrointestinal upsets to
life-threatening anaphylactic shock. Food
producers have to be careful in their labeling to include these so that a person with a
food allergy does not eat them and become ill. There
is an exemption in the law that says certain spices, flavors, and colors that are used in
food can be declared collectively without naming them individually (section 403 (1) (2) of
the FDA). This has caused allergic reactions
in some people. There are allergen test kits
available for consumers.
Hendra, Tim. Passing
the Food Allergen Test. (2003) Cereal
Foods World (48) 1:20-23.
More research is being done that is showing
casual agents, mechanisms, and implications of allergic reactions to foods. These new tools are being developed to help food
processors get rid of food allergy concerns from consumers.
The author discusses what a true allergic reaction to food is, which involves an
immune response. The prevalence of food
allergens actually does not involve an immune response.
Researchers are now showing that 2.5 percent of the U.S. population actually have a
true food allergy. The author also discusses
the big eight food allergens and government action for food allergens. The food industry is working on labeling
initiatives to decrease consumer concerns. The
FDA has also established three classifications for food recalls for food allergen product
recalls. There are available to consumers
commercial food allergen test kits. A food
safety program should be in place to monitor allergens.
They should include supplier controls, specifications, education, product
identification, GMPs, and identification of allergen sources.
Inconsistent Labels Create
Risk. (2003) Food Product Design
The Food Allergy
and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) reports that consumers are at a risk for inconsistent
labeling procedures. FAAN is the head of an
effort to ask the government and the food industry to adopt label practices that are
clearer in the identities of foods that are the most common allergies.
Three Big Rules To Take Effect This Year. (2003) Food Processing (64) 4:28, 30.
The Federal Drug
Administration will be putting into effect this year three new rules that will affect
food. They include the trans fat labeling
rule, food processing facility registration rule, and a rule that requires prior
notification of food imported into the U.S. None
of these rules originated from the FDA. The Public Health Security and Bioterrorism
Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 mandated the import notification rule and facility
registration rule. The trans fat rule started
in part by a petition filed with the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Not only are food manufacturers having to worry
about these new rules, they are also faced with growing interest in allergens and
acrylamide. Acrylamide is believed to be a
carcinogenic that appears naturally in certain starchy foods that are cooked at high
temperatures. Acrylamide and allergens will
be getting more research to ensure that our food is safe.
New Tests Detect Peanuts in
Food. (2003) Food Product Design
Britain funded their Food
Standards Agency for a test that detects the amount of peanuts in processed foods. It can distinguish peanuts from other nuts and can
find small traces in food products. Peanut
allergies kill 10 people in Britain a year.
Reuters News Service. Peanut Allergies Are Increasing in
Children. (2003) The Wall Street
Journal (242) 115:D4.
According to a U.S. researchers
report, nut and peanut allergies are becoming more popular in children. Two reports on the subject were reported in the
December issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
Stivers, Jordan. Custom Blenders: Are They Right For
You? (2003) AIB Research Technical
Bulletin (25) 3:1-8.
In 1991, AIB published a
technical bulletin that discussed internal nuts and bolts of a prepared mix company,
quality control, economics, and blending procedures and conditions. The author uses this technical bulletin to update
the information. Stiver discusses the
advantages custom blenders for bakeries, restaurants, and almost any food related
business. Stivers also includes a table that
summarizes a lot of the problems that are faced by food service industries and what can
alleviate problems by outsourcing certain dry blends.
The author also discusses HACCP and allergens.
The seven basic elements of HACCP are mentioned and how allergens are becoming more
Turner, Jeanne. Dealing with Allergens in School
Foodservice. (2003) Food Product
Design Supplement (13) 1:34-35.
Food allergens are
important to know because different sources of food cause 100 to 500 deaths a year in the
U.S. from anaphylactic shock. In Canada, a
medical report tracked six children who died from allergens and found that four of the six
fatal reactions happened at schools. School
foodservice operators have a challenge that they are facing to protect the student body
from potential food allergens. The author
discusses the environment, allergenic culprits, and how to take action to ensure student
safety against allergic reactions to food.
2004 Journal Citations:
Allergen Misbranding Increasing. (2004) Food Product Design (13) 10:22.
Covane Laboratories of New Jersey released a
recent newsletter that had discussed the threat from possible allergens in further
processed foods. The newsletter also
discussed the response from the industry to recent initiatives of changing food labeling
to clearly identify allergens. The article in
the newsletter reported that mislabeling allergenic ingredients increased on average of 35
per year in the early 1990s to 90 per year by the end of the 1990s.
Banasiak, Karen. Food
Allergies Affect 1 in 25 Americans. (2004)
Food Technology (58) 5:6.
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and
Immunology conducted a study that shows that one in 25 Americans have one or more food
allergies. This means that 11 million
Americans are affected by food allergies. Three
million of the 11 million are allergic to peanuts or tree nuts.
Continued Vigilance Necessary Over Allergen Ingredients. (2004) Bakers Journal (64) 2.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency did two
nationwide assessments on the Wholesale bakery sector and in-store bakery sector. This was an effort to promote allergen awareness. The author discusses production formulations,
label accuracy, incoming ingredient control, storage, product preparation and blending,
equipment design and installation, labeling control, allergen awareness, and why wholesale
bakeries should improve control.
Education and Training Helps Reduce Allergen Risk. (2004) Food Quality (11) 2:34.
Education is very important as well as
training to meet food allergen challenges. A
solid food safety program might include supplier controls, specifications, education,
product identification, and good manufacturing practices.
The author discusses Neogen development, which is a rapid test for food
allergens for nuts. Neogen and FARRP are
working together to create rapid test for eggs, milk, almonds, and a handbook on the
basics of allergen testing.
Fagan, John PhD. PCR
Testing. (2004) Food Quality
PCR stands for polymerase chain reaction. It is a type of testing that a food manufacturer
can use to test for allergens in ingredients and products.
A food company that uses PCR testing should find a third party lab that is
accredited to ISO 17025 standards from UKAS, A2LA, or another independent laboratory
Goodwin, Philip R. Food
Allergen Testing. (2004) Food
Quality (11) 2: 26-28, 30-33, 35.
Food allergies are important to food
manufacturers who have to make sure not to contaminate food products and to label all
ingredients. Included is the big eight
allergens in the U.S. and the big nine in the Europe.
The difference is that Europe includes celery (-iac) as an allergen. The author discusses allergen labeling, allergen
testing and control, sampling and extraction of food allergens, food allergen testing
methods, confirmatory techniques, and selection of testing methods.
Graham, Donald J. Using
Sanitary Design to Avoid HACCP Hazards and Allergen Contamination. (2004) Food Safety Magazine (10) 3:66,
Practical programs must be created to ensure
foods are not contaminated with known allergy causing foods. Allergens are currently considered a chemical
hazard under the HACCP program. The author
discusses the top eight allergens, sanitary design elements, and operational
considerations. Sanitary design elements and
operations affect sanitation, which can affect foods that could be contaminated with
allergy causing foods.
Hefle, Sue PhD. Food
Allergen Update. (2004) Manufacturing
Confectioner (84) 5:51-57.
The author discusses what a true allergy is
and includes a table on the number of households that claim one food allergic family
member. She discusses symptoms, allergenic
foods, food allergens, issues for the confectionery industry, labeling, testing for
allergenic residues, and allergen cross-contact case studies.
Hough, Susan. Allergen
Control Program: Minimizing Allergen Risk in a Food Processing Plant. (2004) Manufacturing Confectioner (84)
ACP stands for Allergen Control Program and
is essential to a plants program like GMP or HACCP.
Food allergy is becoming more popular because recalls have tripled toward the end
of the 1990s to almost 100 recalls a year. The
author discusses the basics about food allergies, how the FDA has become involved with the
issue, and why the issue is so difficult for the industry.
A table with example of an allergen questionnaire is included. A manufacturer can start an ACP by starting at the
beginning of a process and working towards the end. This
includes the raw materials, processing, scheduling designated equipment, rework, and
cleaning. The author also discusses labeling
and documentation. The Food Allergy Issues
Alliance has released their Food Allergen Labeling Guidelines, which can be found at www.foodallergy.org.
Kissel, Mary. Labeling
Rules Likely For Food Allergies. (2004)
The Wall Street Journal (244) 4:D1, D7.
Congress is working on setting up a law that
will require clear listings of problematic ingredients.
Included is a list of allergens and their alternative names. The author also includes what the bill would
include on labeling of allergens.
President Bush Signs Food Allergen Bill; Will Take Effect in
2006. (2004) Milling & Baking News (83) 24: 26. (Digital issue available by subscription at: http://www.bakingbusiness.com)
President Bush signed the Food Allergen
Labeling and Consumer Protection Act. The new
law will be effective January 1, 2006 and will require food manufacturers to
identify, in plain, common language, the presence of any of eight major food
allergens. The allergens include milk,
eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, wheat and soybeans. The bill also covers defining
gluten free and voluntary labeling of gluten free products by
The $2 Cookie. (2004)
Baking Buyer (16) 4:13.
At Whole Foods Market, they offer dairy free
and egg free cookies that are Liz Lovely brand cookies.
Their web site is www.lizlovely.com. Liz and Dan Holtz of Pennsylvania created them. Two cookies are sold for $4. The cookies have no trans fats, hydrogenated oils,
or gluten. The couple is planning to build a
new bakery to keep up the demand for the cookies.
2005 Journal Citations:
idenification remains challenging. (July 26, 2005) Millilng & Baking News
(Food Business News Edition) (84): 21: 20.
comments made by Kenneth J. Falci of the Food and Drug Administration; Michael Mooreman,
director of food safety quality at Kellogg Co., and Steven L. Taylor an I.F.T. food
allergen expert, at the Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting and Food Expo on
the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act.
Swanson, Katherine M.J. Food
Allergens: Thoughts on Concerns and Control. (April
2005) Prepared Foods (174) 4:93-96.
Food allergens require food safety
management for consumer and brand protection. Included
is a table on the big eight allergens. The
author discusses defining food allergies, controlling allergens, and key plant operations. More information can be found at www.farrp.org, www.PreparedFoods.com,
Taylor, Steve L. and Hefle, Sue L.
Allergen Control. (February
2005) Food Technology (59) 2: 40-43, 75.
increase awareness in food allergies, leading food companies are developing comprehensive
allergen control programs. The authors
discuss what is involved with developing one of these programs. Components include purchasing, receiving,
operations, rework, sanitation, sanitation validation, allergen auditing, packaging
strategies, and product development.