Allergen Thresholds are VITAL!

Legislation demands the labelling of allergens, but without reference materials, there is the omnipresent problem of lacking threshold limits.

Every producer faces a dilemma in allergen labelling. Does the concentration of the allergenic ingredient found in the food product fall at, above or below the level at which the food product can be labelled allergen free? So how sensitive does the test system have to be? 

More and more food producers turn away from traditional allergen concentrations towards the concept of action levels. These action levels, as originally suggested with VITAL (Voluntary Incidental Trace Allergen Labelling) by the Australian Allergen Bureau, focus on the final intake by the allergic individual.

This concept takes into account the average serving size. Hence, the same allergen concentration has a different effect on the consumer in a pinch of spices than in a portion of pasta. 

Manufacturers are encouraged to assess the impact of allergen cross contamination in their products when considering detection limits to provide relevant precautionary labelling of allergens.