Integrated Approaches to Food Allergen and Allergy Management
Integrated Approaches to Food Allergen and Allergy Management (iFAAM) was an EU-funded project to develop evidence-based approaches in order to prevent and manage food allergies, and reduce the burden borne by food-allergic patients.
With 43 partner organisations from 19 countries – 14 EU member states plus Iceland, Switzerland, Turkey, the US and Australia – iFAAM built on the outputs of the preceding project, EuroPrevall.
It explored the following interrelated topics:
- early life nutrition and allergy
- risk factors and severity
- risk models for managing allergens in food
- analysis of allergens in food
The tools and data from the project have been used to create a food allergen and allergy management knowledge base made up of the following tools.
Food allergen management tools
Tools and approaches have been developed for the food industry, and particularly to support small and medium-sized businesses in allergen management.
Allergen tracking tool
An important aspect of managing allergens in foods is to understand how allergens may enter food ingredients across the supply chain, and then how food manufacturing processes may result in allergen contamination.
We have developed an allergen tracking tool that can estimate the probability of unintended allergen presence by identifying this presence and then undertaking a vulnerability assessment based on the production steps.
An extension of the tool covers a vulnerability analysis of the supply chain.
Tier 1 risk assessment
The concentration of unintentional allergen (in mg total protein of the allergenic food) present in a food product can be determined in one of two ways:
- estimating the level of unintended allergen presence using information such as the allergen content in the preceding recipe, and estimating the carryover into the next production batch, or
- analysing the final product and/or samples taken at intermediate steps in the manufacturing process.
[Tier 1 model to go here]
If the Tier 1 tool shows that the potential allergen exposure in a given product is above the reference dose, mitigation measures have to be employed and the cycle repeated.
If the problem persists, a Tier 2 risk assessment (see below) should be applied and, if mitigation proves insufficient, a precautionary allergen label applied.
Tier 2 risk assessment
Probabilistic risk assessment approaches for food allergy have been developed based on mathematical modelling.
A comparison of different probabilistic models showed that they provide a consistent risk estimate, and therefore formed a consensus approach.
- Spanjersberg M Q, Kruizinga A G, Rennen M A, Houben G F (2007) Risk Assessment and Food Allergy: The Probabilistic Model Applied to Allergens
- Rimbaud L, Heraud F, La Vieille S, Leblanc J C, Crepet A (2010) Quantitative Risk Assessment Relating to Adventitious Presence of Allergens in Food: A Probabilistic Model Applied to Peanut in Chocolate
Risk mitigation matrix
The risk mitigation matrix summarises the risk management measures taken from literature, guidelines and practice.
Measures are organised by location in the process or facility. An indication of cost and efficacy of the measure has been added to allow the best choice based on needs and resources.
[mitigation matrix to go here]
Please contact us if you have any questions about the tools.
Clinical study data
Clinical data from the iFAAM and EuroPrevall studies is also available.
Get in touch if you have any questions about the iFAAM project or outputs.