Increasingly, allergic reactions among the population have doubled in the number of cases in the last 15 years, and mainly affecting the child population. The prevalence of food allergies is approximately 1-4% of the adult population and 7-10% of the infant population.
Adverse food reactions, allergies and food intolerances are an emerging health problem. The only way to prevent them is to remove allergens from the diet of sensitive people. Its proper management in the food industry must ensure that its presence on the label is reported and that unintentional presence is avoided.
Food allergens are proteins that can be found in the foods we eat, and that harm the health of people who are sensitive to them. They are substances that are initially harmless, but that cause an exacerbated reaction of the immune system in some consumers
An allergen (antigen) causes a hypersensitivity reaction through an immunological response mediated by immunoglobulins E (IgE). Reactions to an allergen can be of varying severity, including itching on the lips, mouth and throat, to more serious reactions such as anaphylaxis, which can lead to death.
The increase in food allergies and intolerances in recent years has led to the development of an extensive regulatory framework, aimed at providing maximum information and consumer protection.
According to Regulation (EU) 1169/2011 on food information, both the food industry, that produces packaged food, as well as all those establishments that are dedicated to hospitality or that provide not packaged food and beverages to their customers (restaurants, bars, catering, public canteens such as schools, hospitals, residences, etc. and vending machines) are obliged to inform consumers if they contain any of the 14 mandatory declaration allergens collected in reqgulations.
Food allergen management
To comply with legal and food safety requirements, it is important that food companies incorporate within their HACCP self-control system, the management of this new risk (the presence of food allergens). Contamination with allergens can occur throughout the different phases of food processing.
Cross contacts during the manufacturing process can be the cause of contamination, especially when different types of food are processed in the same line or production equipment.
Therefore, an adequate methodology for the control and elimination of allergens on food contact surfaces, is a critical factor in any allergen management program in the food industry. In this sense, the Cleaning and Disinfection program is one of the most effective key aspects for the prevention of possible cross-contamination of allergens, and in such a program, the choice of the cleaning product will be key.
Once the cleaner product has been chosen, it must be verified that the product not only cleans but also removes the allergen. An allergen is a molecule that is not visible to the naked eye, and that adheres very easily to surfaces, and sometimes, although the surface appears to be clean, it does not mean that the allergen is not present.
Currently, it is common to apply products of strong alkaline and chlorinated character for surface cleaning in the food industry. Such products, depending on existing organic dirt, do not guarantee a suitable cleaning process for the removal of allergens. Taking into account this aspect, and the corrosive and dangerous nature of these products, both for the people and the facilities in which they are used, a cleaner that allows to achieve a good result of cleaning and the removal of allergens without any hazard pictograms, is postulate as the sustainable alternative in the cleaning processes of the food industry.
A&B Laboratorios de Biotecnologia, in its commitment to the sustainability of the food sector, has developed the product Allergen Removing Detergent DD 4124, focused on the removal of surface allergens, with highly cleaning effectiveness and without danger of use.
2. ALLERGEN REMOVING DETERGENT – DD 4124
3. PRODUCT EFFECTIVENESS
The cleaning effectiveness of the Allergen Removing Detergent DD 4124 product is based on the synergistic action of its surfactants and enzyme ingredients. Its surfactant formula makes it easy to solubilize organic dirt and facilitate the accessibility of the enzyme fraction on protein molecules. The result of this synergy of the ingredients, allows an effective and safe cleaning activity, eliminating both organic remains and the adhesive allergens from the dirty surfaces. The following figure shows an outline of the product activity.
- Dirty surface with organic matter and food allergens attached
- Synergistic activity of the ingredients of the product
- Solubilization of organic soil and allergens degraded by the enzymatic fraction.
- Clean, allergen-free surface.
4. ALLERGEN REMOVING DETERGENT DD 4124 vs. ALKALINE CLEANERS
5. EFFECTIVENESS TEST
A laboratory test has been carried out in order to demostrate the performance of Allergen Removing Detergent to clean and remove allergens.
Allergen Removing Detergent DD 4124 was compared with an alkaline cleaning product and a chlorinated alkaline product, to clean a stainless steel surface.
The surface was stained with different foods that are responsible for causing food allergies, in particular with flour, egg and milk. In order to better visualize the stain on the surface, these foods were coloured (Figure 1).
The stain was very attached to the surface.
After stainig surfaces, an allergen control test was done (Figure 2).
The presence of allergen is identified by the appearance of two lines in the strip, which is specific to each allergen tested. The cleaning procedure has consisted of spraying the stained surface with the products. The contact time for all products has been 5 minutes and the dilution applied, in all cases, has been 5%. After the contact time, a simple rinsing of the surface, with tap water, has been carried out without applying pressure.
After rising the surfaces, a dye was applied, in order to clearly visualize the result of the cleaning process on the stainless steel surface (Figure 3).
After appliying the dye, the surface was rinsed with tap water (Figure 4) and subsequently the allergen control test was done (Figure 5).
The presence of colour on the surface indicates that the cleaning process has not been effective and is considered dirty.
The presence of two lines in the strip is considered positive (+) and therefore the allergen is present.
The presence of a single line in the strip is considered negative (-) and therefore no allergen is detected.
The following images collect the results obtained in the cleaning process, with the different products, of the surfaces stained with the aforementioned foods.
6. CORROSIVITY TEST
The corrosivity test of the product was carried out by submerging aluminum plates in the different solution cleaners diluted to 5% (v/v). Figure 6 shows the result after 15 days. Alkaline and chlorinated alkaline cleaners attack aluminum, whereas Allergen Removing Detergent DD 4124 does not cause any corrosivity on the plate.
- Allergen Removing Detergent DD 4124 has been effective in cleaning all dirty surfaces, where no allergens have been detected after cleaning with the product.
- .Alkaline Cleaner, has been effective in cleaning for the milk-stained surface, however on the other surfaces it has not managed to completely remove organic dirt. Allergens have been found on all surfaces cleaned with the product.
- Chlorinated alkaline cleaner, has not been effective in completelyremoving organic dirt on any of the surfaces, where the presence of allergens has been detected after cleaning with the product.
Allergen Removing Detergent DD 4124:
- cleans the surface and removes allergens
- at the same concentrations and times of use, is more effective than alkaline and chlorinated alkaline products
- enables safe effective cleaning
- Enzymatic activity
- High efficiency in removing allergens
- Broad-spectrum cleaner
- Good foaming properties
- Not pictograms
- Not regulated for transport by road (ADR)
- Not dangerous waste packaging
- Not storage special requirement