Everyone knows there’s celery in a Waldorf salad.” So said a salad manufacturer recently, but do all salad manufacturers know that celery allergy is one of the ingredients that must be clearly labelled under the new food labelling directive?
International experts at the Institute of Food Research are holding an industry briefing on food allergy on 14th October. As well as the forthcoming EU labelling directive the meeting will cover methods for detecting allergens in foods and EU initiatives in allergy research.
“The issues for the food and drinks industry are quite complex”, says Dr Clare Mills, co-ordinator of the Food Allergy Cluster, part of the Institute’s Food & Health Network. “But we’re learning more about what makes particular foods allergenic, and how food processing might affect this”, she continued.
Dr Mills, who will be leading the event, studies the properties of allergenic food proteins. She has extensive contacts with food allergy researchers across Europe and the US, and is the co-ordinator an EU research project to develop effective food allergy communication strategies (www.informall.eu.com).
All food and drink companies, including caterers, are welcome to attend. The Food Allergy cluster meeting is open to non-members of the Food & Health Network for a fee of £250. For more details of the Network activities and the programme for the day see www.foodandhealthnetwork.com.
Other areas of IFR’s expertise in food allergy research relevant to the food industry will be covered in future Allergy Cluster meetings. These include the effects of digestion on the ability of foods to cause allergy, effects of storage and processing on allergens in foods, and understanding how the human body becomes sensitized to some food proteins.