By Allergen Bureau

Long-time Allergen Bureau member Unilever Reflects on the 5th Biennial FAMS Symposium

FAMS 2023 The Past, The Present and The Future symposium was held in Brisbane with clinicians, regulatory authorities, researchers, and industry coming together to discuss the complex topic of allergens. The atmosphere across the 3 days was buzzing with passion, enthusiasm, and a willingness to share, learn and challenge the status quo.

We “milked” the expertise of local and international speakers and panellists across different sectors and were presented with a holistic view of allergens today and into the future.

Here’s the key “take away” menu items:


Allergen management has changed significantly in the past 30 years which was acknowledged by all attendees. However, there is still significant work to be done to improve food choices for the allergenic consumer. By working collaboratively, we can lead the change.


  • The global view of allergens is changing as seen through the current Codex’s review of priority allergens and non-priority allergens.
  • PAL should only be used after a risk-based assessment has reduced, eliminated, and controlled potential cross contacts. The question remains – to regulate or not to regulate?
  • The progression from zero based risk to ED01 risk-based allergen management (and next to ED05) is needed, however the change needs communication, education, and industry to review their risk appetite.
  • Education is crucial in industry and service providers as well as the general public of all ages.
  • Vegan and plant-based claims do not mean allergen free. These claims are regulated as part of consumer choice but not regulated on suitability for allergenic consumers.
  • Particulates in allergen management need to be further considered.
  • Our planet will not be able to feed the population using practices that exist today so there was lots of discussion on complimentary proteins and the impact on the allergic consumer.
  • Test methods need to evolve alongside new technologies to be able to assess new allergens correctly.


Symposium more like symposi-yum!