Why food allergen testing is important.

July 5, 2018 Ana Maria Lozano

allergic reaction food

It’s important to know what you’re eating.

2.6 million Canadians have at least one food allergy and roughly 500,000 of those with allergies are children.1 And, these numbers continue to rise.2

With the growing public concern surrounding food allergies, the focus on regulatory awareness of food allergen testing methods is on the rise.

Here’s what you need to know about food allergen testing.  

What is food allergen testing?

Food allergen testing detects processed and unprocessed food allergen proteins.

In Canada, there are 10 priority food allergens: peanuts, tree nuts, soy, milk, eggs, fish and seafood, sulfites, wheat, sesame, and mustard.3

Food allergen testing gives the ability to verify cleaning processes, as well as check raw materials and the final product to ensure they are free of unwanted food allergens. Food allergen testing also helps control cross contamination in the facility.

Why is food allergen testing important?

food allergen testing

In Canada, 60% of product recalls are the result of undeclared food allergens.4 Besides impacting your business, mislabeling puts your customers at risk.

A statistic from a Canadian Medical Association study6 found that “In most people with peanut allergies, symptoms develop after substantially less than 1 peanut is ingested and highly allergic people can react to trace amounts.”  The study found that subjective symptoms were reported with doses as low as 100 μg.

This is why food allergen testing is part of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and quality systems guidelines. It is critical to keeping consumers safe.

How can food testing labs incorporate an effective allergen testing process without compromising their speed to market?

As a quality control team you’re responsible for releasing a safe product to market. The simpler the allergen testing method, the better it is because it reduces the possibility of errors from manipulation.

What’s important to know about 3M™ Allergen Protein Rapid Tests is that they respond to the needs of food processing facilities for simple, reliable, and fast results. Here’s how:

  • Simplified work flow: 3M™ Allergen Protein Rapid Tests are designed to detect both processed and unprocessed proteins – this streamlined approach helps simplify your allergen testing method.
  • Reliability: 3M™ Allergen Protein Rapid Tests detect processed and unprocessed proteins and are backed by experts with AOAC® INTERNATIONAL validations.  
  • Speed: 3M™ Allergen Protein Rapid Tests have five to 11-minute assay time.* This quick turnaround is important when conducting a changeover between products on manufacturing lines.

Learn more.

Fill out the form below to learn about 3M’s full solution to food safety testing – from allergens, pathogens, and more.

References:

1. http://foodallergycanada.ca/wp-content/uploads/Food-Allergy-Key-Facts-Sheet.pdf

2. http://www.readersdigest.ca/health/what-you-need-know-about-rise-food-allergies-canada/

3,4,5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKJ0pv1Hb1s&feature=youtu.be

6 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC154188/

About the Author

Ana Maria Lozano

[enBio=A microbiologist by trade, Ana Maria has over 12 years of experience working in the food industry, including dairy products, ice cream, water, condiment and dressing products. Her diverse expertise ranges from quality assurance, quality control, good manufacturing practices (GMPs), good laboratory practices (GLPs), hazard analysis critical control point (HACCP) system, and research and development. She’s also an internal auditor of ISO9001 and SQF practitioner. ],[enJob=Professional Services Representative, Food Safety Division, 3M Canada],[frBio=Microbiologiste de profession, Ana Maria possède 12 années d’expérience au sein de l’industrie alimentaire, y compris dans les domaines des produits laitiers, de la crème glacée, de l’eau, des condiments et des pansements. Sa vaste expertise inclut l’assurance de la qualité, le contrôle de la qualité, les bonnes pratiques de fabrication, les bonnes pratiques de laboratoire, l’analyse des risques aux points critiques (HACCP) et la recherche et le développement. Elle est également vérificatrice interne relativement à la norme ISO 9001 et praticienne SQF. Ana Maria joue un rôle actif au sein de la communauté de la microbiologie à titre de membre de l’AMQ (Association des microbiologistes du Québec).],[frJob=Représentante des Services professionnels, Division des produits de sécurité alimentaire, Compagnie 3M Canada]

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