This may sound like straight out of a sci-fi novel, but it’s happening right now. With technology making it increasingly possible for manufacturers to put new ingredients to food and beverages, especially in the desire to improve taste, texture, or nutrition, it becomes possible that people might have an allergic reaction to it. If left untreated, it may lead to severe body reactions, or even death from anaphylactic shock.
It’s now possible that proteins from allergenic foods may be added to the ingredients of the products, for the sake of making it better. However, this same technology may actually change the finished product in such a way that unsuspecting customers may not realize that it’s actually there.
Based on research paper published for the journal Allergy, Asthma and Clinical Immunology, it is revealed that some products, like a clear beverage meant to stem hunger, actually contain proteins from cow’s milk. The reason why it’s clear is because the protein has been synthesized into a clear, colorless rendering. Some people may think that it’s just a bottle of harmless water with flavoring. For those with an allergy with cow’s milk, this might prove to be a very dangerous mistake.
In fact, the researchers have found the beverage to contain at least three-times more allergenic protein compared to regular milk. This has therefore marked it to be hyper-allergenic, and definitely a no-no for people with allergies. This has sparked fears in consumers and in professional circles about the necessity of proper labeling.
Labeling supporters contend that manufacturers have the responsibility to inform their customers that they have added proteins and other allergy-inducing ingredients into their products. Also, they have urged the suppliers that they properly label their products to clearly indicate what is inside. In this way, there is a lesser chance for allergic people to accidentally ingest the product and provoke a reaction.
Still, nothing beats being alert, as a consumer. Reading the label should always be the top priority when deciding what to buy. That simple gesture can actually go a long way.