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Lecture Material - Food Safety Inneke Hantoro FOOD ALLERGY What is food allergy? Food allergy is an abnormal response to a food triggered by the body s immune system. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Lecture Material - Food SafetyInneke Hantoro
What is food allergy?
  • Food allergy is an abnormal response to a food
    triggered by the bodys immune system.
  • The symptoms of an allergic reaction are caused
    by biologically active chemicals produced by the
    immune system in its attempt to protect the body
    from a foreign invader.
  • Allergic reactions to food can cause serious
    illness or even death.
  • Food allergy is different with food intolerance
    although both can show similar symptoms.

Types of food allergy
  • IgE-mediated food allergy (immediate
  • e.g. peanut allergy, cows milk allergy
  • Cell-mediated food allergy (delayed
  • involving sensitized immune cells in the small
    intestine, usually lymphocytes, that are
    sensitized to the specific substance that
    triggers the reaction ? inflammation on certain
    sites, symptoms appearing 24 hours or more after
  • e.g. celiac disease

How do allergic reactions work?
  • An immediate allergic reaction involves two
    actions of our immune system
  • Our immune system produces immunoglobullin E
    (IgE) a type of protein that works against a
    specific food antibody.
  • IgE attaches basophils (white blood cells) and to
    mast cells cells found in all body tissues. The
    typical sites of allergic reactions include nose,
    throat, lungs, skin and GI tract.

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How do allergic reactions work?
  • Food allergens are proteins within the food that
    enter our bloodstream after the food is digested.
  • Food allergen go to target organs such as skin,
    nose, etc and cause allergic reactions.
  • An allergic reaction to food can take place
    within few minutes to an hour.

How do allergic reactions work?
  • The symptoms of cell-mediated allergic reactions
    do not begin to appear until 624 hrs after
    ingestion of the offending food. These reactions
    develop slowly, reaching a peak at approx. 48 hrs
    and subsiding after 7296 hrs.
  • The mechanisms of cell-mediated food allergies
    are not nearly as well understood.
  • They involve an interaction between specific food
    allergens and sensitized T lymphocytes - a major
    component of the gut-associated lymphoid tissue.
    Lymphocyte stimulation initiates the release of
    cytokines and lymphokines which produces a
    localized inflammatory response.
  • Antibodies are not involved in these reactions.

Celiac disease
  • Celiac disease, or gluten-sensitive enteropathy,
    is a malabsorption syndrome occurring in
    sensitive individuals upon the consumption of
    wheat, rye, barley, triticale, spelt, and kamut.
  • The consumption of wheat or other offending
    grains or products made from these grains elicits
    inflammatory damage to the absorptive epithelial
    cells in the small intestine.

Celiac disease
  • The loss of absorptive function along with the
    ongoing inflammatory process results in a severe
    malabsorption syndrome characterized by diarrhea,
    bloating, weight loss, anemia, bone pain, chronic
    fatigue, weakness, muscle cramps, and, in
    children, failure to gain weight and growth
  • The inflammatory mechanism involved in celiac
    disease is mediated by intestinal T lymphocytes.

The allergic symptoms
  • Itching in mouth as we start to eat the food.
  • GI symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea or
    abdominal pain after the food is digested in
  • When the food allergens enter and travel through
    the bloodstream, they may cause the blood
    pressure to drop.
  • As the allergens reach the skin, they can cause
    hives or eczema.
  • When the allergen reach the lungs, they may cause

Cross - Reactivity
  • If we have a life-threatening reaction to a
    certain food, our body will show how to avoid
    similar foods that might trigger this reaction.
  • For example if someone has a history of allergy
    to shrimp, he/she will also show allergic
    reactions to crab, lobster and crayfish.

Cross contact allergen
  • Cross contact allergens occur when a residue or
    other trace amount of an allergenic substance is
    unintentionally added into a food not intended to
    contain that allergenic substance and where such
    occurrences are sporadic.

Common Food Allergies
  • In adults
  • Shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts (walnuts), fish,
    eggs, wheat, soy.
  • In children
  • Eggs, milk, peanuts, soy.
  • Tree nuts and peanuts can cause deadly food
    allergy reactions called anaphylaxis!

  • Anaphylactic reaction is a severe reaction of
    rapid onset that involves most organ systems
    (multiple organ failure) and that results in
    circulatory collapse and a drop in blood
  • The 1st symptoms usually are burning, itching,
    irritation of the lips, the inside of the mouth
    and the throat.
  • Followed by nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and

Food Allergen
  • The allergenic moiety of the food is usually a
  • Allergenic proteins are usually not denatured
    under food processing conditions and relatively
    resistant to digestion.
  • Other foods can produce allergen as well, but not
    as often, e.g. strawberries.
  • The foods to which adults or children usually
    react are those foods they eat often, e.g.
  • Soy and rice allergy in Japan
  • Codfish allergy in Scandinavia
  • Peanuts allergy in US

Types of Food Allergens
  • Milk proteins caseins, whey proteins
    (beta-lactoglobulin), serum proteins (albumin).
  • Egg proteins ovalbumin, conalbumin
    (ovotransferrin) and ovomucoid (heat stable).
  • Grain proteins gliadins, glutenins, albumins and
  • Peanuts ? the most frequently cited causes of
    life threatening anaphylactic reactions!
  • Soy bean
  • Seafood
  • etc

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Food Allergy Tests
  • Skin tests
  • Identifying the type of IgE that is fixed to the
    skin mast cell. For example scratch test.
  • Blood tests ? analyze blood or blood serum
  • RAST (radioallergosorbent test) or ELIZA (
    enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay).
  • These tests measure the presence of
  • food-specific IgE in blood and
  • the total IgE level in blood.

Food Intolerance
  • Food intolerance is more common than food
    allergy, but it doesnt relate to the immune
  • Food intolerance is caused by the lack of our
    bodys ability to digest certain substances.
  • Some people may have a food intolerance that has
    a psychological trigger.

Types of Food Intolerance
  • Food poisoning foods contaminated with microbes,
    such as bacteria and bacterial products (e.g.
  • Histamine toxicity
  • A reaction like an allergic reaction when people
    consume histamine containing foods, such as in
    cheese, some wines, tuna and mackerel.

Types of Food Intolerance
  • Lactose intolerance
  • It caused by lactase deficiency.
  • Lactase is an enzyme that is in the lining of the
  • Lactase breaks down lactose, a sugar found in
    milk and most milk products.
  • Lactose is used by bacteria to form gas which
    causes bloating, abdominal pain and diarrhea.
  • At least one out of ten people suffer lactose

Types of Food Intolerance
  • Food additives, such as
  • MSG, when it is taken in large amounts can cause
    some of the following signs flushing, sensation
    of warmth, headache, chest discomfort and feeling
    of detachment.
  • Sulfites, in high concentrations can pose problem
    for people with severe asthma.

How to treat food allergy?
  • Avoiding to eat foods which can trigger allergic
  • Exercised- induced food allergy
  • The allergic symptoms may appear as exercise
    increases and body temperature rises. Therefore,
    it is required to avoid eating for a couple of
    hours before exercising.
  • Taking medicine such as antihistamines to relieve
    GI symptoms, hives, sneezing and runny nose or
    taking bronchodilators to relieve asthma symptoms.

Consumer Protections Labeling
  • Food manufacturers are generally responsible
    about posting alerts concerning allergen
    contamination and recalling their products.
  • Labeling of foods containing allergens have to be
    clear and consistent.
  • The application of GMP in food manufacturing to
    avoid cross-contamination of food products by
    foreign allergens.
  • The awareness of the consumers in checking the

  • The general labeling recommendations are
  • all allergen information should be grouped
    together to be easily identified and not hidden
    amongst other labeling information
  • product description and representation should
    provide an accurate expectation of the product
    and should not be misleading

  • The print size should be big enough to be easily
    read, preferably at a minimum 1.5mm with sans
    serif font, and the font colour should contrast
    distinctly from the background. The use of lower
    or upper case will depend on the overall
    presentation of labeling information.
  • (FSZAN)

  • A consistent approach in the presentation of
    allergen information will help allergic consumers
    more quickly and easily identify foods of
    concern, helping to minimize accidental
    consumption of unsuitable foods.
  • The recommended format consists of
  • an ingredient list declaring in bold allergenic
    substances and their derivatives and
  • an allergen summary statement and
  • a precautionary statement.

  • Food Allergy An Overview. 2004. U.S. Department
    of Health and Human Services. Retrieved from
  • Joneja, J. V.1998. Dietary Management of Food
    Allergens and Intolerances A Comprehensive Guide
    2nd Edition.J. A. Hall Publications LTD.