A new method released by the JRC will help to improve the measurement of allergens in food. This will contribute to clearer consumer information.
Santa’s milk and cookies, chocolates and cakes are on the menu during the Christmas period.
For someone suffering from milk allergies, Christmas is definitely one of the hardest times to be dairy free.
Allergy to cow's milk is one of the most common food allergies in early childhood and can persist through adult life, forcing the allergic individuals to completely eliminate milk from their diet.
Unclear labelling about possible presence of milk in food items further reduces the choice for consumers with milk allergies.
Therefore, measuring the allergenic content in food we consume is of highest importance.
Now the JRC has developed a new reference method for measuring milk proteins in cookies.
Based on mass spectrometry, this reference method allows quantifying the total of milk protein content in a cookie.
A method extendable to other food allergen measurements
With this method, the JRC reached a first important step, which aims to establish reference methods for food allergen quantification.
The European Union requires the correct labelling of 14 allergenic ingredients in food items.
However, currently the available analytical methods have, even for milk, different measurement targets.
As a result, they do not provide comparable data on the presence of potentially allergenic proteins in food, and the data can vary considerably between different laboratories.
A reference method enables to have comparable and decision-relevant data.
In the future, the JRC’s new reference method principle could be extended to accommodate also other food allergen measurement methods.
It will contribute to ensure that food placed on the EU market is safe for those suffering of specific allergies.
- Publication date
- 18 December 2020