EU FP7 food allergy project enters third year
FoodLife International is one of 38 partners in a €9 million FP7 EU-funded project co-ordinated by the University of Manchester (UK) and involving many of the world’s leading experts on allergens This is believed to be the biggest single study of food allergy in the world.
This European Commission-funded research project, known as the Integrated Approaches to Food Allergen and Allergy Risk Management (iFAAM), will produce a standardised management process for food companies involved in manufacturing. It will also develop tools designed to enforce EU allergen regulations and produce evidence-based knowledge to provide new health advice on nutrition for pregnant women, babies and allergy sufferers.
The co-ordinator of the project is Professor Clare Mills, from the Allergy and Respiratory Centre of The University of Manchester’s Institute of Inflammation and Repair and based in the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology. The project had a kick-off meeting in March 2013 in Manchester and subsequent biannual meetings in Cork (Ireland) in Oct 2013, Vienna (Austria) in February 2014, Zagreb (Croatia) in October 2014, Brussels (Belgium) in March 2015 and Berlin in October 2015
There is currently a list of foods considered to be responsible for triggering the majority of allergies across the world which includes milk, egg, peanuts, soya, wheat, tree nuts, mustard, lupin, fish, crustacean and molluscan shell fish and celery which have to be labelled irrespective of the level at which they are included in a recipe. However, management of food allergens that accidently find their way into foods which might otherwise be free of allergen, for example through the use of common processing equipment, remains problematic and often gives rise to precautionary “may contain” labels. FoodLife International has been involved in analysing allergen recall data from the EU, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand for the past 5 years and entering the information into an Access database. Analysis of this data provides insights into the errors leading to recalls and any trends in terms of food categories or allergenic ingredients.
From an industry and regulatory perspective, it is expected that the results of the project will provide more guidance on the management of food allergens. There will also be support in assessing and validating newly-developed multiple allergen detection methods using sophisticated new technologies.
The research project, which has two years left to complete, will soon has a dedicated website to communicate progress, and is hosting a number of Workshops during the duration of the project.
iFAAM involves 38 partners who include: AMC, Anaphylaxis Ireland, Charite, FARRP, BOKU, ACHR, DAAB, Unilever, SERMAS, TNO, UCC, PEI, DLO-FBR, ILSI, USOU, UoA, UZH, MUL, ACP, LUH, OUH, SCH, DTU, INRA-CRJJ, Leatherhead, Eurofins, JRC, INDOOR, ANSES, Hylo, MoniQA, FLI, EuroFir, KCL, Nestec, ACUK.
Countries involved include: Greece, Germany, Ireland, US, Netherlands, Denmark, Austria,
Belgium, Spain, Switzerland, Poland, Spain, Iceland, Croatia, Lithuania, Denmark, France,