Chicken eggs are one of the foods most often responsible for allergic reactions, particularly in children (1). Egg allergy can manifest itself in different ways, but after diagnosis it is usual to remove the egg from the diet.
The egg, in addition to being widely used in the composition of almost all pastry products, can be present in the most varied foods, so it is important to know which foods can contain eggs and how to identify them on the label.
The clinical presentation of egg allergy can range from mild to very severe forms, from very rapid onset to later after exposure to the egg, and may occur through ingestion, contact or inhalation of food particles.
The various forms of egg food allergy can be classified into:
a) mediated by IgE antibodies - it is the most common and with an immediate reaction (30 minutes and up to 2 hours after exposure), with manifestations in the skin and mucous membranes, gastrointestinal, respiratory and/or cardiovascular, and anaphylaxis may occur.
b) not mediated by IgE antibodies - it is usually a late reaction, with onset more than 2 hours after food ingestion and, sometimes, difficult to diagnose. It can be manifested by gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea.
c) mixed – involving both IgE-mediated and non-IgE-mediated mechanisms, as in atopic dermatitis and eosinophilic esophagitis. (1)
Egg white and yolk both have relevant allergens, however egg white proteins are thought to be responsible for most allergic reactions to egg, being ovomucoid, ovalbumin (conalbumin), ovotransferrin and more rarely lysozyme. (1.2)
Some of these proteins can be destroyed by heat, reducing their ability to be identified by the body as an allergen, while others are not. This explains why some patients are only allergic to raw eggs, while others are allergic to raw and cooked eggs, not tolerating foods that may contain eggs, even when subjected to high temperatures, such as cakes and cookies.(1,2)
Eggs from different bird species are identical in their protein composition, so cross-reactivity can be seen in chicken egg allergy sufferers who trigger similar allergic reactions with quail, turkey, duck or ostrich eggs. the type of eggs.(1,2)
Eggs and by-products are present in several foods, more or less evidently, which is why a careful reading of labels is essential. Prominence in the labeling of eggs and egg products is mandatory for food products marketed in Europe (3). See which foods have or may contain eggs and how to identify the egg on the label.
Foods that have or may contain eggs: (1,4)
How to identify the egg on the labeling: (4)
Whole egg, egg yolk and white, dehydrated egg powder, albumin, lysozyme (E-1105), lecithin (E-322, may or may not be derived from egg), egg lecithin, apovitelin, aitelin, avidin, flavoprotein, globulin, livetin, ovoalbumin, ovoglobulin, ovotransferrin, conoalbumin, ovoglycoprotein, ovomucin, ovomucoid.
Fidu products do not contain eggs. We do not handle any ingredient that may be contaminated with eggs in our facilities. In this way, we guarantee that there is no cross-contamination by traces and that our products are safe even for the most sensitive.
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Important Note: The content of this article is merely informative and should not replace medical indications. If you suspect that you suffer from this type of allergy, you should seek advice at a differentiated Immunoallergology medical consultation.
(1) SPAIC Food Allergy Interest Group, 2017. Food Allergy: Concepts, Advice and Precautions, 1st Edition. Lisbon: Portuguese Society of Allergology and Clinical Immunology with support from Thermo Fisher.
(2) Vieira, RJL da S. (2015). Food Allergens: A Synoptic Study. Master's Dissertation in Food Technology and Safety. New University of Lisbon.
(3) Regulation (EU) No. 1169/2011 of 25 October 2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of the European Union.
(4) Pádua, I., Barros, R., Moreira, P., & Moreira, A. (2016). Food allergy in catering. Lisbon: National Program for the Promotion of Healthy Eating, Directorate-General for Health.