By Allergen Bureau

Scientifically determined allergen thresholds

The use of scientifically determined allergen thresholds to inform precautionary allergen labelling is the cornerstone of the VITAL program.  However internationally, the acceptance of both the concept and the best approach to determine an appropriate threshold has been debated for quite some time. It is hoped that the FAO/WHO recommendations back to the Codex Committee on Food Labelling may assist to ensure a uniform approach is taken. 

In their article ‘Too high, too low’: The complexities of using thresholds in isolation to inform precautionary allergen (‘may contain’) labels, the authors look at the challenges of using a cut-off of 0.5 mg food protein due to UAP per 100 g food (5 ppm) to inform whether PAL is needed, as suggested in an article in our November newsletter.