Allergen Explanations

An allergen (also spelled allergen, without accent mark) is an agent that, when it enters an organism, leaves it in a vulnerable situation to the development of phenomena linked to an allergy. The concept of allergy, on the other hand, refers to a set of eruptive, nervous and / or respiratory events that affect a being.

Allergens generate a reaction in individuals who have a certain degree of susceptibility to them. By noticing that the allergen is a foreign element to the organism, the mechanism that leads to the eruption of allergy phenomena is triggered.

What causes an allergen is a destabilization of homeostasis, since the body releases different substances in reaction. This is how the symptoms that characterize the allergy appear.

There are animal proteins, microorganisms, and chemicals that act as allergens. Cat hair, cosmetics, flower pollen, shellfish, and nickel are among the allergens.

Mite droppings are one of the most common allergens. Mites are microscopic parasites that settle on rugs, blankets, cushions, and mattresses and feed on flakes of skin, either from people or pets. Its volatile droppings are inhaled by humans and generate a reaction in the mucosa.

The allergy caused by this allergen is part of the rhinitis group and includes an increase in nasal secretions, sneezing and other disorders. It can also cause eye and throat discomfort.

Allergens and the Food Information Law

Although food processing must be carried out responsibly in every household, when this is done at an industrial level, the requirements are legal, and cannot be ignored as they could put consumers’ health at risk.

Certain substances can be risky for those people who suffer from some food intolerance or allergy, and for this reason the laws force manufacturers to indicate on the packaging of their products the presence of all allergens, whether they are used as main ingredients or that may have left traces during the preparation of other foods.

Among the allergens that manufacturers are obliged to highlight in their products are cereals that contain gluten, such as the following: rye, oats, kamut, wheat, barley and spelled. This group should exclude wheat-based glucose syrups (such as dextrose) or barley, wheat-based maltodextrins, and cereals used in the manufacture of alcoholic distillates (such as ethyl alcohol).

On the other hand we have peanuts and any product derived from them, a group in which are articles containing peanuts or traces of peanuts. Soy and articles based on it are also allergens; however, the presence of fully refined soybean oil or fat should not be reported, natural d-alpha tocopherol, mixed natural topols, natural d-alpha tocopherol succinate derived from soy, d- acetate natural alpha tocopherol or phytosterol esters derived from soybean vegetable oils.

Products of animal origin are the most harmful, not only for those who have allergies related to them, but because their consumption is usually associated with diseases as serious as cancer. Crustaceans, eggs, fish and milk, among others, are part of the list of allergens that must be highlighted among the ingredients of food products to avoid serious consequences on the health of consumers.