Skip to main content

Criteria to Determine Food Allergen Priority

Buy Article:

$37.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)


The emergent health issue of food allergens presents an important challenge to the food industry. More than 170 foods have been reported in the scientific literature as causing allergic reactions. Clearly, it would be impossible to deal with the presence of trace amounts of all these in the context of food labeling. If the decision to classify major allergens is based solely on the knowledge and experience of allergists and food scientists in the field, without scientifically defined criteria, it is likely to lead to a proliferation of lists. Such practices may lead to an unnecessary elimination of foods containing important nutrients. This paper defines food allergy, food intolerance, and food anaphylaxis and identifies criteria for classifying food allergens associated with frequent allergic reactions. A practical list of food allergens that may result in potentially life-threatening allergic reactions is provided. A mechanism-based (i.e., immunoglobulin E mediated), acute life-threatening anaphylaxis that is standardized and measurable and reflects the severity of health risk is proposed as the principal inclusion criterion for food allergen labeling. Where available, prevalence in the population and threshold levels of allergens should be used as an additional guide to identify possible future labeling needs.

Document Type: Review Article

Affiliations: National Food Processors Association, 1350 I Street N.W., Suite 300, Washington, D.C. 20005

Publication date: July 1, 2000

More about this publication?
  • IAFP Members with personal subscriptions to JFP Online: To access full-text JFP or JMFT articles, you must sign-in in the upper-right corner using your Ingenta sign-in details (your IAFP Member Login does not apply to this website).

    The Journal of Food Protection (JFP) is a refereed monthly publication. Each issue contains scientific research and authoritative review articles reporting on a variety of topics in food science pertaining to food safety and quality. The Journal is internationally recognized as the leading publication in the field of food microbiology with a readership exceeding 11,000 scientists from 70 countries. The Journal of Food Protection is indexed in Index Medicus, Current Contents, BIOSIS, PubMed, Medline, and many others.

    Print and online subscriptions are available to IAFP Members and institutional subscribers. IAFP Members with a subscription to JFP Online will have access to all available JFP and JMFT content. Online visitors who are not IAFP Members or journal subscribers will be charged on a pay-per-view basis. Membership and subscription information is available at
  • Information for Authors
  • Submit a Paper
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Membership Information
  • Information for Advertisers
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Partial Open Access Content
Partial Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more