Food Allergy

ILSI Europe Concise Monograph

Adverse reactions to food are of concern and interest to consumers, industry and science. Therefore, in 1994 ILSI Europe published a Concise Monograph on “Food Allergy and other adverse reactions to food”. During the nine intervening years the prevalence of food allergy in Europe has increased, especially in children. Public interest and awareness of health and diet has also increased during this time and as such ILSI Europe commissioned the revision of this subject into a new Food Allergy Concise Monograph to describe and clarify the differences between true food allergies and other adverse reactions.

The Food Allergy Concise Monograph clarifies the differences between allergenic hypersensitivity reactions and other adverse reactions to food. It describes the symptoms and syndromes associated with adverse reactions to food, and the currently available analytical and clinical tools used to discriminate between them. The monograph also explains the biological mechanisms involved in food allergy. The impact of food processing, cross-reactivity between allergens, and allergen thresholds in the elicitation of allergenic reactions to food are discussed, along with dietary exclusion and food labelling practices as aspects in food allergy risk management.

The aim of this monograph is to place food allergies in perspective. Allergic reactions to food are less common than many believe and symptoms resulting from food allergies are often predictable and mild. However, some forms of food allergy are life threatening occasionally in an unpredictable manner. The monograph provides an overview of the issue of food allergies for the broader audience given the growing public trend to ascribe any adverse reaction to food as an allergy.

This concise monograph is intended as a resource for health professionals, regulatory authorities and individuals involved in research into food allergy and adverse reactions to food.

Note: This version has been corrected after the print edition.

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Translations are available in Japanese and Portuguese.

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