Study Explores the Role of Insects as a Promising New Food Allergen

Posted On October 28, 2020     

An extraordinary statement compulsion applies to significant allergens, such as celery, peanuts, or egg, although these are only present in little amount in the recipe. Nevertheless, the pronouncement of allergens that involuntarily enter a food is not regulated.

These unintended allergenic entries can occur due to production and transport conditions and pose a severe health risk to those with allergies.

As per the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) estimates, more than 1900 insect species are consumed globally. They are subject to rules associated with novel foods in the EU.

It is also possible that insects will be gradually more utilized as constituents in food in the future. The insect's role as a potential new food allergen is presently being discussed.

There are few cases of allergies caused by insect components described to date. But, there is still high potential for cross-reaction, particularly with arthropods (including crustaceans and dust mites) due to the homology of several proteins such as, e.g., tropomyosin and arginine kinase.

The aim of the Allergen-Pro joint research project is to give food producers and food monitoring authorities with ways for identifying insect components in food in due course.

A total of seven associates from Switzerland and Germany are involved in developing proper and reproducible methods for the recognition of insect components, even in highly processed food products. These methods are based either on genetic material detection that is single to each species or on direct detection of any allergenic proteins.

Besides, the clinical significance of insects as a health-relevant possible food allergen is still uncertain. It is hard to forecast the clinical relevance of food sensitization using so-called in-vitro methods.

Ground-breaking, high-throughput in vitro techniques for identifying allergenic IgE/G epitopes in insect proteomes will also be developed to enhance safety for those suffering from allergies and food manufacturers.

The project is also operational on generating an in-vitro test system for the first time, making it probable to conclude, with the least stress for the test subjects, whether they are allergic to or only show sensitization with no clinical reactions.

The Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) had funded the Allergen-Pro project.

Related Report:

Global Food Safety Testing Equipment And Consumable Market Report

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