FAO-Danone tackle the emerging issue of new food allergens
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and Danone Food Safety Center have recently published, in the peer-reviewed journal Trends in Food Science & Technology, a review about the current trends and drivers linked to the emergence of new food allergens and the future perspectives for this area. Food allergy can be a serious human health problem for which there is still no effective cure available.
With the growth of the world population and the changing eating habits of consumers, new products (based on new, modified, and alternative protein sources) have been introduced to the market, however, this has also led to the introduction of new dangers and/or new ways of exposure.
It is known that plant-based foods are the main source of food allergy in adults. Emerging plant-based foods with increasing popularity, such as legumes (e.g. lentils, chickpeas) and seeds (e.g. poppy and pumpkin seeds), require adequate clinical investigations as the reported number of allergic consumers increases.
The new plant-based foods are usually highly processed. The allergenic activity of a complex food can be reduced, remain unchanged or even be increased by food processing. Therefore, new processing techniques applied to known protein sources could lead to new allergenic risks.
The authors highlight how essential it is to study the new drivers and trends affecting the consumption patterns of these new foods, while exploring the ability of existing monitoring and regulatory systems to manage the increased incidence of allergies linked to new and existing food.
To learn more about the risk of plant-based foods: https://affidiajournal.com/en/plant-based-foods-hidden-risks