Food allergens can be defined as usually harmless food components or constituents which induce an allergic reaction in a sensitised individual.
Food allergies affect about 1-2% of adults and 5-8% of children. Symptoms with varying degrees of severity include itchy or swollen lips, mouth, tongue and throat; skin reactions; wheezing or shortness of breath; diarrhea, feeling sick, vomiting and bloating; coughing; a runny nose and sore, red and itchy eyes.
The presence of undeclared allergens is one of the leading causes of global food recalls. Food recalls are costly, both in terms of money and damaged reputations.Testing for the presence of allergens as part of an effective quality control process allows manufacturers to safeguard against undeclared allergens entering final products, thereby reducing the risk of a recall.