The material kit, LGC746-KT, consists of five individual common allergens – milk, egg, almond, hazelnut and walnut – chocolate paste with five added allergic ingredients (fortified) and chocolate paste with no added allergenic ingredients (blank). The material is traceable to the International System of Units.
Up to 2m people in the UK suffer from a food allergy, but work to create foods that are free of allergens has been hampered by a lack of reliable reference materials to check the proper performance of laboratory tests.
‘True’ allergen content
So, the material kit is designed to help scientists and industry by supporting method development to determine ‘true’ allergen content and assist laboratories in monitoring the performance of methods on a day-to-day basis.
Food Standards Agency (FSA) director of science Professor Rick Mumford said: “These reference materials are a significant development, enabling more accurate allergen measurement in food.
“This is essential for assessing the safety of foods for those with allergies and we are excited that these materials are now available. The FSA was pleased to be able to support this important work.”
Meanwhile, last month, an expert in allergen law claimed the FSA’s new guidance on allergen labelling changes for prepacked foods for direct sale did not resolve some of the practical issues of complying with the new legislation.
Under the new legislation, which will come into effect on 1 October 2021, food packaged on-site, before a customer selects or orders it, will be required to have an ingredients list with the allergens emphasised on it.