FOCUS ON FOOD ALLERGENS
SEMINAR ON FOOD ALLERGENS - SCIENCE & CHALLENGES FOR SOUTHEAST ASIA, APRIL 7, 2015, BANGKOK, THAILAND
On April 7, 2015, ILSI Southeast Asia Region will be organizing a 1-day public seminar on the topic of food allergens at the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand. The seminar aims to share the latest scientific information regarding food allergy and allergen issues that are relevant to the Southeast Asian context, particularly in relation to the application of risk assessment and risk management concepts to food allergens that may be found in the food chain. The seminar will also bring together international experts on food allergen issues from North America, Europe and Australia to share experiences in dealing with food allergen in their regions. Additional information on the event can be found on the ILSI Southeast Asia Region website here. Following the workshop, a closed-door workshop involving relevant stakeholders, including clinical allergists, food safety authorities and risk assessment experts, will be held to discuss the availability of scientific data from the region that could be used to support risk assessment processes to guide public health measures on food allergens among Southeast Asian countries.
NEWS AND RESEARCH
Food Allergen Management Symposium 2015
The first Food Allergen Management Symposium 2015 (FAMS2015) will be held on May 12-14, 2015 at the Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach Hotel in Sydney, Australia. FAMS2015 is jointly organized by the University of New South Wales, Australia, The Allergen Bureau of Australia and New Zealand, the National Measurement Institute of Australia and the Food Allergy Research and Resource Program (FARRP), University of Nebraska, USA. FAMS2015 will cover a number of topics relevant to the issue of food allergens, including updates on the global regulatory framework, risk assessment, food allergen management, analytical techniques as well as medical therapies for food allergies. Additional information can also be found through the official invitation from the organizers here.
Early Exposure to Peanuts During Infancy May Reduce Risk of Developing Peanut Allergies in Children
Evidence from a randomized controlled trial known as the Learning Early About Peanut Allergy (LEAP) Study, which is led by a group of researchers from King's College London, has shown that exposure to peanuts at an early age, particularly during infancy, may reduce the risk of developing peanut allergies among children later in life. The LEAP Study followed two groups of infants between 4 to 11 months of age, all of who were at higher risk of developing peanut allergy, until they reached 5 years of age. One group of the children avoided the consumption of peanuts entirely during this period while the other group consumed at least 6 grams of peanut protein per week. The group consuming peanuts regularly was found to have an overall 81% reduction in the prevalence of peanut allergies throughout the study period compared to those who avoided peanuts. The study has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine and is available online here.
EFSA Updates Scientific Opinion on the Evaluation of Allergenic Foods and Food Ingredients for Labelling Purposes
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recently published the final version of its Scientific Opinion on the evaluation of allergenic foods and food ingredients for labeling. The Scientific Opinion revises an earlier opinion, which forms the basis for the list of food ingredients and substances that are required to labelled as food allergens under Annex 3a of EC Regulation No. 2003/89/EC. The latest opinion provides information on a wide range of issues such as the prevalence of food allergies among different populations, proteins identified as food allergens, cross-reactivities, the effects of food processing on allergenicity, detection methods for food allergens, eliciting doses for different food allergens, risk assessment methodologies, as well as risk-based population thresholds for certain food allergens.
Symposium on Advances in Analytical Techniques for Effective Food Allergen Management at Pacifichem 2015
An inaugural symposium on Advances in Analytical Techniques for Effective Food Allergen Management will be held during the International Chemical Congress of Pacific Basin Societies (Pacifichem), which will be held on December 15-20, 2015 in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. The symposium aims to provide an informative and interactive forum for researchers, industry and regulatory representatives to share and discuss diverse research findings that support risk assessment and establishment of threshold levels for food allergen management. Research topics to be covered are, but not limited to:
1) analytical techniques for food allergen detection;
2) characterization of food allergens;
3) current needs and challenges faced by regulatory agents and the food and medical industries;
4) upcoming techniques for food allergen detection; and
5) standardization and harmonization of food allergen standards.
Abstract submission for oral/poster presentation is now open until April 3, 2015 and can be submitted here. Information on the Early Career Chemists Travel Grants for the event can also be found here. For additional information on the symposium, please contact Dr. Alice Lee from the University of New South Wales.