Dicas_alergenios nos rotulos - Fidu

6 tips to identify allergens on the food label

Reading food product labels is an essential habit for people living with food allergies and intolerances. But how can we identify allergens on labeling?

1. A list of ingredients with words highlighted, either by increasing the thickness of the letter (bold), with color contrast, underlined words or WITH CAPITALS, indicates that this food includes allergenic ingredients, that is, those that are highlighted.

2. When there is no list of ingredients, it is also mandatory to declare allergens by the expression “Contém…” on the label (for example, in wines “Contém Sulfites”).

3. The phrases “May contain traces of…” or “This food is not suitable for people with allergies to…”, means that this food, although it does not contain allergens in its ingredients, has been cross-contaminated during production/transportation/storage, and which contains the mentioned allergen in sufficient quantity to provoke a reaction.

4. The expression “Produced in a factory that handles…”, means that there is a potential risk of the food containing traces of allergens also due to cross-contamination at some stage of the process, but if it does, it will be in quantities that only affect those who do not tolerate any type of trace elements.

5. Sometimes, some brands choose to reinforce the information about allergenic ingredients already provided in the ingredients list, with an additional statement such as “Contains…”.

6. As for gluten, we can still find other information on the labeling:

- «Gluten-free» means that the food contains less than 20mg/kg of gluten. Associated with these foods, the words “suitable for people with gluten intolerance” or “suitable for people with celiac disease” may also appear.

- «Very low gluten content» means that the food comes from a cereal that contains gluten but in an amount of less than 100mg/kg, which can be tolerated by less sensitive people.

- “Naturally gluten-free” does not mean that the food is safe for coeliacs, only that it was made from gluten-free ingredients, but it does not exclude the possibility of cross-contamination at some stage of the process.

Of these mentions, it is only mandatory by law to declare the presence of the 14 main allergens when they are part of the list of ingredients and it is highly recommended by ASAE to declare whenever there is confirmed cross-contamination and that it is not possible to avoid it. However, the reference to the possibility of the occurrence of traces is what is called preventive labeling and has no legal obligation. For this reason, when in doubt, you should contact the brand to confirm if the food is safe for the allergy in question.

Fidu products are produced in allergen-free facilities, from rigorously selected ingredients free from all 14 allergens and their traces. But beware: Our products MAY CONTAIN delicious, safe and inclusive flavors!

Information based on publications from ASAE, Regulation (EU) No. 1169/2011 and Implementing Regulation (EU) No. 828/2014.