The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has added sesame to its list of major allergens, making it easier for people with sesame allergies to safely consume packaged food without fear of an allergic reaction. In this episode of the Xtalks Food Podcast, Sydney talks about the newly listed allergen and the labeling requirements that come with it. While the requirement that sesame be listed as an allergen came into effect at the start of 2023, consumers may still find food products for sale that don’t list it on the label since they were produced prior to January 1st. Identifying which foods contain sesame is an important step in food safety and health care as an estimated 0.2 percent of children and adults in the US are allergic to sesame. The team wonders why it took nearly 20 years for sesame to be added to the FDA’s list of major allergens and how it will impact food products that aren’t packaged as well as food at restaurants.
Also in this episode, Sydney talks about the recent approval of house crickets in food products in the European Union (EU). The newly approved regulation will allow food producers to introduce the partially defatted dry powder of the house cricket into the EU food market.The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) also approved the powder production process, which includes a 24-hour fasting period for the insects before they are frozen, washed, thermally processed, have their oil extracted and, finally transformed into dried-up powder. Food containing house cricket products will require appropriate labels since some researchers believe that these insects could cause allergic reactions in consumers allergic to crustaceans, dust mites and mollusks. The team discusses consumer willingness to try food products that contain house crickets and wonders whether vegetarians and vegans would eat insect-containing products.
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