Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Deadly latex evading lax food labelling laws

07.08.2006
Food packaging containing latex should be labeled to avoid the possibility of sensitive individuals being exposed to potentially deadly levels of the allergen, experts told C&I. A recent UK study revealed that one third of food packaging tested was contaminated with latex. The latex was transferred to food in some cases. In one unnamed chocolate biscuit, the amount of latex found was 20 times the level that instigates a reaction.

A group of experts from the UK Latex Allergy Support Group (LASG) Advisory Panel said that these results were significant. ‘For a few people, natural rubber latex is a very potent allergen and for these individuals, there is no safe level of exposure,’ says LASG representative Graham Lowe. ‘We would welcome an approach to the EU to consider this evidence and the issue of labelling,’ he said. Lowe added that latex transfer to food could account for some currently inexplicable reactions.

There is no agreement on a safe level of latex, but it has been reported that a billionth of a gram (1ng/ml) can be enough to cause a reaction. Currently manufacturers are not required to label food packaging as containing latex.

Scientists at Leatherhead Food International measured the presence of four major latex allergens in 21 types of food packaging for confectionary, fruit and vegetable produce, meat, pastry and dairy products. A third of the materials tested gave positive results for the presence of latex and in some cases this was transferred onto the food (Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture DOI 10/1002/jsfa.2580).

The highest levels of latex allergens were found in a chocolate biscuit containing nearly 20ng/ml. The wrapper contained 85ng/ml of latex. The highest levels in packaging was detected in ice cream wrappers, with over 370ng/ml found in one sample. The ice cream itself contained around 14ng/ml. One company admitted spraying whole wrappers with latex adhesive, so that they could be sealed with minimum wastage.

A spokesperson for the Food Standards Agency, which funded this study, said food-labelling guidelines were designed to avoid restriction of choice due to excess use of warning labels. ‘Advisory labeling should only be used when, following a thorough risk assessment, there is a real risk of allergic reactions,’ they said.

The Leatherhead study is the first attempt to quantify the latex allergens present in food contact materials and also in foods.

Between 1-6% of the British population suffer from latex allergies. Latex is used in many food packaging materials, including rubber bands, meat netting, stickers found on some fruit and vegetables and the adhesive used for cold sealing of confectionary.

SCI Press Office | alfa
Further information:
http://www.chemind.com

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Foods of the future
15.08.2018 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

nachricht New antibody analysis accelerates rational vaccine design
09.08.2018 | Scripps Research Institute

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur

What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

15.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Diving robots find Antarctic winter seas exhale surprising amounts of carbon dioxide

15.08.2018 | Earth Sciences

Early opaque universe linked to galaxy scarcity

15.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>