Almost all food allergens are proteins. Fortunately, most food proteins are not allergens. In food manufacturing, allergen control starts with product development. Many food companies seek to limit the development of new food products containing major allergenic foods such as peanut, tree nuts (e.g. walnuts, hazelnuts, etc.), milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, soybeans, and cereal sources of gluten. And increasingly food companies seek to develop gluten-free, dairy-free and other free-from products. In such circumstances, a search is often made for alternative protein sources that are “not allergens.” Scientifically speaking, this is probably a fruitless effort because the likelihood that a novel protein source will become a novel allergenic food is directly related to exposure. If a company develops a highly popular new food product that contains a novel protein source, that food is likely to become allergenic simply because of its widespread, frequent consumption. But smart choices can be made. Find out how.
Steve Taylor, Ph.D., Professor and Co-Director, Food Allergy Research and Resource Program, University of Nebraska speaking on “Protein Allergens” at the 2015 Protein Trends & Technologies Seminar.