22nd March 2023 Editorial by: Gerard Ruth, Food Safety Consultant
The Egg Allergen Issue
The estimated prevalence of egg allergy is 1 to 2% in children but diminishes in older children and adults. Most of the allergenic egg proteins are found in the white of the egg - Ovalbumin, Ovomucoid, Lyzozyme, and Ovatransferrin, and Ovamucoid is more resistant to heat treatment. Alpha-livetin is the major allergen of concern in egg yolk.
Lecithins may be used in alternative egg products as emulsifiers, and they contain little to no allergenic protein, however individuals with an egg allergy are wary of anything labeled with an allergen (FDA requires the labeling of Soy lecithin with specified exemptions). Similarly, seed oil ingredients are allergen-free as they are highly refined, and potential allergens are removed in processing.
The allergens of regulatory concern in alternative egg products are soy, lupin, and tree nuts, including coconut. Other alternative egg proteins have yet to be classified as allergens for labeling purposes, but individuals with a peanut or soy allergy may prefer to avoid products that contain other legumes. Lupin is regulated as an allergen in Australia, Canada, the EU, Japan, and New Zealand.
Check out the NewProtein product finder, where you will find allergen testing kits to safeguard your food and beverage products.
Date Published: 22nd March 2023