Danes launch project to prevent allergic reactions

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Peanut allergies can be very severe
Peanut allergies can be very severe

Related tags: Allergy

A new €2M project, led by the National Food Institute (NFI) at the Technical University of Denmark, will focus on developing new products to treat or prevent allergies.

The Alleviate initiative aims to improve the quality of life for allergy sufferers worldwide by developing new prevention and treatment methods.

It will seek to improve the lives of people who struggle with either a cow’s milk allergy or peanut allergy. For example, a peanut allergy can cause upset stomach, vomiting and – in the most serious cases – anaphylactic shock, which is potentially life threatening.

Infant formula ingredients

The project will also develop infant formula ingredients for prevention of cow’s milk allergy and a drug candidate for treatment of peanut allergy.

Worldwide, 2.5% of children develop cow’s milk allergy within their first three years of life, it said.

Meanwhile, peanut allergy is a persistent disease and  approximately 1% of the US population suffers from it.

According to the NFI there is a market potential for both product types. It said the untapped market for products to treat peanut allergy alone is estimated at more than €4bn (£3.39). 

By manufacturing the products in Denmark, more jobs would be created both in the dairy industry and within research and development in the biotech sector, it argued.

Patented strategy

“Our goal is to use a new patented strategy to prevent and treat food allergies, which can overcome the limitations of current methods by being effective but without risk,”​ said NFI project manager and senior researcher Katrine Lindholm Bøgh.

“The products we will develop can improve the lives of children at risk of developing cow’s milk allergy and patients with a peanut allergy.”

The initiative has a range of partners, including Arla Foods Ingredients, DTU Chemistry, the University of Leeds and The Hospital for Sick Children and the Medical University of Vienna.

Dealing with products that cause allergies is an continuing issue for the food manufacturing sector. In September, Sensient Flavors revealed a nut flavour range free of any nut components to tackle allergies. 

According to Mintel, ‘allergen-free’ is one of the top claims among food products, featuring on 14% of global product launches.

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