By Allergen Bureau

Products marketed as Early Introduction Foods might not contain allergens

Consumption of common allergenic foods, such as peanut, in early life is recommended in revised clinical guidelines for reducing risk of food allergy among children. In response to such recommendations, and in an effort to assist parents and families to adhere to the guidelines, several early allergen introduction foods (EIF) containing single or multiple allergenic foods for feeding infants have been commercialised.

However, in a study to determine the concentration and doses of major food allergens in EIF, researchers found significant variability in allergen composition, concentration, and dose per serving.

Extracts from 32 EIF and four control foods were analyzed for 17 allergens. While peanut puffs were found to provide doses of 65-182mg per 7g serving, some mixed food blend powders, puffs, crackers, and fruit sauces contained much lower allergen levels, often less than10μg per gram, and some had undetectable allergens.

The study authors believe guidelines should be established to enable consumers and health care providers to make informed decisions about EIF and to improve the formulation and standardization of EIF for prevention of food allergy.

Reference: Filep S. & Chapman M. 2021. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology in Practice DOI: 10.1016/j.jaip.2021.02.051.