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Food Allergens

A Reference Resource List

Compiled by Emerson Library Staff




2009 Journal Citations:


“Allergen Handling and Labeling for the industry.” (January 2009) Manufacturing Confectioner. (89) 1: 10.

The National Confectioners Association will feature a two-day program entitled "Allergen Handling and Labeling," with Tom Mackie, Anne Munoz-Furlong, and Steve Taylor lecturing. Topics include: allergen management, raw material sourcing, plant design and confectionery process, sanitation, verification/testing, labeling for confectionery products, and training.


Madden, Juliana (March 9, 2009). Peanut Allergies Up 100% Among Australian Toddlers.  Food Chemical News (51) 2:18.. (Available online at: with paid subscription).

A new study published in this month's issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology profiles the increase in peanut allergies in recent years.  The research for the study occurred over thirteen years and reinforces other recent studies that have been conducted in the United States and the U.K.  A similar study published in the November 2008 issue of the same scientific journal, compared peanut allergy rates of Jewish children living in two different countries, Israel and London.  Includes comments on the research from Raymond Mullins, the coauthor of the most recent article published on this topic.  Mr. Mullins believes that more funding is need for further research of what he calls "Gen-A or generation allergy which is the time period between being a teenager and being an adult.


Schag, Arlene. “Protect your company from food allergens.” (April/May 2009) Food Quality. (16) 4:22-28.

Statistics 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.


2008 Journal Citations:


“Allergen overview.” (March 2008) Bakers Journal. (68) 2:12-13.

The Canadian 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."


Barnett Fox, Jennifer.  (September 2008).  Baking & Snack (30)8: 57-8, 60, 62, 64.

The 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

The "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, and labeling.


Hefle, Susan. “Producing allergen-free goods.” (October 2008) Baking Buyer. (20) 7:79.                   

This article 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.


Laird, J. “Facing the Allergen Challenge.” (March 2008) Modern Baking, Supplement Healthy Baking Guidebook. (22) 3:28-29.

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.


Martin, Katherine.  “Behind the Buzz of Gluten Free.” Modern Baking (22) 3: 43, 46, 48.

Bakers are 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.    


Mermelstein, 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:


Barlyn, 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.


Fitzpatrick, Kelley. “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.


Jones, 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 allergies.


Lopez-Garcia, R. “Quinoa: A Traditional Andean Crop With New Horizons.” (March/April 2007) Cereal Foods World. (52) 2:88-90.

Quinoa offers 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.

The Food 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.


Taylor, S.L. & 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.

Genetically 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.


2006 Journal Citations:


“Allergens and  ‘Cross-Contact’.”  (January 16, 2006),   The Food Institute Report (79) 2: 9.   Available online at: with paid membership

                Discusses the 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:


”FDA's Response to Response to Document on Allergen Labeling.” (November 6, 2006), The Food Institute Report (79) 44: 10-11.  Available online at:  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.


“Signs of the Cross-contact with Allergens.” (October 2006). Prepared Foods (175) 10: 21

"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."


Update on Thresholds for Major Food Allergen And Gluten In Food.” (June 5, 2006) The Food Institute Report (79) 22: 9-10. Available online at: with paid membership

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:   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 (13) 9:22.

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.


Joy, David.  “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 (13) 1:24.

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 important.


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 (11) 2:28.

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 accreditation agency.


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, 68-71.

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) 1:79-85.

ACP stands for Allergen Control Program and is essential to a plant’s 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


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:

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 2008.


“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   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:


“Allergen idenification remains challenging.” (July 26, 2005) Millilng & Baking News (Food Business News Edition) (84): 21: 20.

Gives 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,, and


Taylor, Steve L. and Hefle, Sue L.   “Allergen Control.”  (February 2005) Food Technology (59) 2: 40-43, 75.

Because of 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.





Last updated September 1, 2010


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