chapter  5
8 Pages

Chapter General Characteristics of Food Allergens

References .............................................................................................................. 190

All people are affected by harmless foreign antigens such as pollen, nutritional ingredients, house dust, animals, and chemicals (cosmetics, medicines, washing powder, textiles, and toys). Ever increasing numbers of people have hypersensitive reactions (allergic and nonallergic). At present, a clearly increasing tendency is observed in the occurrence of allergic and nonallergic hypersensitive reactions to mentioned antigens in foods. In the European Union and in the highly developed countries, it is estimated that approximately 35% of the population of these regions complains about different forms of hypersensitive reactions, and the gure is growing, e.g., bronchial asthma occurs twice as often as 15 years ago. Pollen allergy, coming second in the statistics, concerns 10%–20% of Europeans (European Allergy White Paper). Up to 15% of the human population is reported to have had some adverse form of food reactions (Samson, 1996; Wüthrich, 2000).