Service Communautaire d'Information sur la Recherche et le Développement - CORDIS

European food intolerance databanks

There is a range of different types of adverse reactions to foods (food intolerance), ranging from true food allergy, which is an allergic reaction to a food caused by an over-sensitive reaction of the body's immune system (in essence, 'immunity gone wrong'), through to psychological food intolerance, which is an emotional reaction to a food that does not occur when the food is consumed in an unidentifiable form. Of greatest concern are food allergies, which produce a wide range of symptoms and the foods most commonly involved are egg (albumen), peanuts, cows' milk, wheat, fish, shellfish, nuts, soya bean and rice. For individuals sensitive to certain foods or food additives, it is necessary to provide information about foods that can be consumed without the worry of reading the ingredients label every time to check for possible problem-causing components. This requirement led to a project (eFID) in 12 countries on the setting up of food intolerance databanks in each country with the major aim of producing 'free-from' booklets, in the language of each country, which can be used by consumers and health professionals when purchasing foods. The booklets will list a wide range of foods/formulated foods that are free from potential allergens. The participating countries are Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and The United Kingdom. Existing food intolerance databanks in The United Kingdom and The Netherlands are being used as models for each national databank in terms of broad concept and format of data presentation. A range of eFID software is being developed which will be used for the collection and maintenance of the extensive data needed for the production of the 'free-from' booklets.

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