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Molluscs and lupin joining the EU list?

A draft directive amending Directive 2000/13/EC proposes to add molluscs (and products thereof) and lupin (and products thereof) to the list of ingredients that must under all circumstances be declared on food product labels when present.

This is because both are likely to cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. The draft was clue for discussion on July 17th, by the EFSA Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health (SCOFCAH).

The molluscs include approximately 100,000 species such as snails, octopus, mussels, whelks and scallops, and account for approximately 20% of all seafood allergies. Clinical studies have demonstrated that individuals sensitised to crustacea (crabs, lobsters, prawns etc) can also react to molluscs. The reason for this being that the allergic protein 'tropomyosin' is present in significant concentrations in both of these taxonomic phyla.

There are approximately 450 species of lupin, and as with crustacea and molluscs, evidence shows that it has a high cross-reactivity for people who are also allergic to peanuts. Hence lupin allergy can have very severe consequences for sensitive individuals.

"Adding these ingredients to the EU list will raise the stakes for manufacturers even further," says Simon Flanagan, allergens consultant at RSSL. "Both molluscs and lupin are used in their natural state and can be processed as food ingredients. So it may not always be immediately apparent that a member of one of these huge food groups is present in ingredients.

There are already laboratory tests that are specific for lupin and tests for molluscs are in their final stages of development. However, the emphasis for controlling these ingredients will have to be on improved communication, setting tighter supplier agreements, and the proper implementation of HACCP plans that are designed to address allergens as a specific concern."

Contact RSSL on tel: 0118 986 8541 or visit www.rssl.com
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Title Annotation:INFORMALIA
Publication:Food Trade Review
Date:Aug 1, 2006
Words:305
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