A research project on food allergy that involved 25 countries worldwide will showcase some of its results at a symposium in Nice starting today.
"What we found won't make it easy to pinpoint which foods carry the biggest risk, as the risk for individual foods varies from country to country," says project coordinator Professor Clare Mills from the Institute of Food Research.
"For example shrimp is an important allergen in Iceland but we found no cases in Bulgaria."
"On the wider picture, we found that food allergy overall is lower in southeast Europe than the northwest and lower still in India. Rates in Hong Kong were much higher."
The researchers will explore how the patterns they have identified compare to the current regulatory lists. They will make suggestions on how, despite the international nature of the food manufacturing industry, allergen labelling lists can be modified or adapted to the needs of local communities.
The symposium will run until Friday 22nd October.
Institute of Food Research