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A food allergy is a reproducible adverse reaction to a particular food that involves the immune system. Nearly all allergens are proteins.

Food Allergen
a form of food intolerance associated with a hypersensitive immune response mediated reaction in which antibodies are formed .
Food Intolerance
a reproducible reaction to a food which occurs without a hypersensitive immune response .

The effect of food allergens differs by population, as can be seen in Europe. There, an allergic reaction to the onion in the Western Europe is virtually non-existent. However in Eastern Europe there are an increasing number of cases where allergic reactions to onions occur.

On a global basis, approximately 1-2% of adults and 5-8% of children suffer from a food allergy. These figures are increasing each year.

The effects of food allergies

In some cases, a reaction to a food allergen can result in death within a short period of time. A perfectly healthy individual can have a serious reaction that results in death within an hour of consumption.

Another important fact is that in some individuals as little as 1 mg. of an allergen can cause a serious reaction that can result in death.

Many people die each year from food allergies; for example, 100 deaths in the United States in 2006 resulted from peanut allergies.

Symptoms of an allergic reaction

There are different symptoms for allergic reactions to food. Some people suffer only very mild reactions while some can suffer very serious health effects, even death.

Typical symptoms of an allergic reaction to food are as follows:

  • respiratory reaction, such as asthma
  • gastrointestinal reaction , such as vomiting or diarrhea
  • skin reaction, such as dermatitis
  • anaphylactic shock – evidenced by a drop in blood pressure, severe constriction of airways, multiple organ failures, and/or death.

Because of the severity of food allergens, legal requirements have been put into place to ensure the correct labeling of foods. Food labeling should inform the consumer of the presence of known food allergens as an ingredient in the food or any possible cross-contamination of a known food allergen which may have taken place during its preparation.

Legislation put into place within the EU, US, and Australasia requires specific ingredients to be clearly listed on certain foods to highlight the presence of allergens.

The legislation listed below is the EU, US, and Australia/New Zealand’s requirements for food allergens:

  • EU – Directive 2003/89/EC as regards to indication of the ingredients present in foodstuffs.
  • US – Public Law Section 201-210
  • Australia/New Zealand – Food Code Standard 1.2.3

As a food safety manager, you should be aware of the markets where the products you produce will be sold and thus ensure that your product is labeled in accordance with the above legislation.

You must appreciate that there are differing allergens specified within these legislative requirements and that these requirements may be amended and updated in line with the increasing diversity of allergen reaction to specific foodstuffs.

Questions & Answers

what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
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how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
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Source:  OpenStax, Food safety knowledge network basic level requirements. OpenStax CNX. Dec 30, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11142/1.4
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