Allergen Testing in Food
Allergens from food are an ongoing food safety concern globally. Food allergies have emerged as a major public health risk and consumers expect that FBOs take steps to accurately declare the presence of allergenic ingredients, and where possible prevent unintended allergen presence in food.
Food allergies occur when the immune system (the body's defense against infection), mistakenly treats proteins found in food as a threat and causes an auto immune response.
The way to prevent food allergic reactions is to avoid allergens. Labelling of allergens in processed food or pre-packaged food is the first step towards minimizing the risk and to alert consumers on the allergens present in food.
Regulations for labelling allergens
1. Clause no. 2.4.6 under sub-section 2 (a) of Food Safety Standards Rules-2011 of FSSAI (Food Safety Standards Authority of India)
Following 8 allergens are recommended by FSSAI (Food Safety Standards Authority of India)
- Tree nuts
2. EU 1169/2011
Allergens that need to be labelled on pre-packed foods when used as ingredients as per EU regulation
- Cereals containing gluten
- Milk (including lactose)
- Nuts (Almonds, Pecans, Cashew, Hazelnuts etc.)
- Sesame seeds
- Sulphur dioxide and sulphites
- Lupin (Legume similar to Peanut / Soyabean)
3. US FDA – FALPA (Food Allergen Labelling and Consumer Protection Act, 2004)
- Fish (e.g. bass, cod)
- Crustacean shellfish (e.g. crab, lobster, shrimp)
- Tree nuts (e.g. almonds, walnuts, pecans)
- Sesame (Effective 1st January 2023) as per FASTER Act
Bureau Veritas offers allergen-testing services. Our scientists support the food industry to identify and declare allergens on food labels in compliance to the regulatory requirements.