Allergies cannot be cured, so a good food declaration is all the more important for those affected.


What is an allergen

An allergen is a substance that is usually innocuous to most people, but in some individuals it is able to activate an antibody response resulting in allergic manifestations of various kinds. Food allergies and intolerances are not only a problem for the user, but are also part of public health issues. Following consumption of a food in which allergens are present by allergy sufferers can have serious and immediate consequences. There is no cure for food allergies, so the safest option to avoid the problem is to monitor the entire production process of a food in order to prevent a particular allergen from ending up in it.


Because of these reasons, organisations such as EFSA and FDA require all allergenic ingredients that may be present in a food to be labelled to inform the consumer directly. If the presence of allergens is not declared on the label, the product will be recalled from the market.

There are various international regulations governing the presence of allergens in food and how to search for them. There are currently no legal limits for almost all allergens, due to the fact that allergens are different and that the amount of allergen required to trigger an allergic response depends on individual to individual.

What to do?

Among the allergens can be diffused are: milk, eggs, nuts (e.g. nuts, peanuts, hazelnuts), soya, crustaceans and molluscs, gluten.

As a result, it is important to monitor the presence of the allergen along the entire production chain, either directly in the food, or as verification of work surfaces or at an environmental level in places where food is handled. Adequate risk analysis and an adequate and reliable monitoring service are required.

What AGROLAB can do!

AGROLAB provides a complete analytical service for the detection of allergens with advanced technologies. In our laboratories we routinely apply analytical techniques in PCR (to detect allergen DNA) and ELISA (to detect allergenic proteins) for the quantitative determination of various allergens in food. These technologies are widely available and have proven effective for a wide range of matrices.

The food customer service in the laboratory and your local sales representative will be happy to provide you with all the information you need to sample and interpret the data obtained in the laboratory.



Author: Samuele Asnicar