The Magnitude and Impact of Food Allergens and the Potential of AI-Based Non-Destructive Testing Methods in Their Detection and Quantification

Akinbode A Adedeji, Paul V Priyesh, Adeniyi A Odugbemi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Reaction to food allergens is on the increase and so is the attending cost on consumers, the food industry, and society at large. According to FDA, the "big-eight" allergens found in foods include wheat (gluten), peanuts, egg, shellfish, milk, tree nuts, fish, and soybeans. Sesame was added to the list in 2023, making the target allergen list nine instead of eight. These allergenic foods are major ingredients in many food products that can cause severe reactions in those allergic to them if found at a dose that can elicit a reaction. Defining the level of contamination that can elicit sensitivity is a work in progress. The first step in preventing an allergic reaction is reliable detection, then an effective quantification method. These are critical steps in keeping contaminated foods out of the supply chain of foods with allergen-free labels. The conventional methods of chemical assay, DNA-PCR, and enzyme protocols like enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay are effective in allergen detection but slow in providing a response. Most of these methods are incapable of quantifying the level of allergen contamination. There are emerging non-destructive methods that combine the power of sensors and machine learning to provide reliable detection and quantification. This review paper highlights some of the critical information on the types of prevalent food allergens, the mechanism of an allergic reaction in humans, the measure of allergenic sensitivity and eliciting doses, and the conventional and emerging AI-based methods of detection and quantification-the merits and downsides of each type.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFoods
Volume13
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 25 2024

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