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Almond Allergy: An Overview on Prevalence, Thresholds, Regulations and Allergen Detection
- Mandalari, Giuseppina, Mackie, Alan R.
- Nutrients 2018 v.10 no.11
- allergenicity, allergens, almonds, consumer protection, food allergies, foods
- Food allergy has been on the increase for many years. The prevalence of allergy to different foods varies widely depending on type of food, frequency of consumption and geographic location. Data from the literature suggests that the prevalence of tree nut allergy is of the order of 1% in the general population. Almond is one such tree nut that is frequently eaten in many parts of the world and represents a potential allergenic hazard. Given the need to label products that contain allergens, a number of different methods of direct and indirect detection have been developed. However, in the absence of population-based threshold data, and given that almond allergy is rare, the sensitivity of the required detection is unknown and thus aims as low as possible. Typically, this is less than 1 ppm, which matches the thresholds that have been shown for other allergens. This review highlights the lack of quantitative data on prevalence and thresholds for almonds, which is limiting progress in consumer protection.