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T07006: Adverse reactions to foods

Monday 4 November 2002

This research project aims to identify and describe components in certain foods that cause a condition known as oral allergy syndrome.

Study Duration: October 1997 to October 2000

Contractor: TNO-BIBRA


Oral allergy syndrome mainly occurs in people who are also sensitive to tree or grass pollens and involves itching, swelling or the development of a rash where certain types of food (e.g. fresh fruit and vegetables) touch the lips and mouth. For example, people who are allergic to birch pollen may also be allergic to apples.

Research Approach

Two model systems will be used to measure the tendency of certain foods associated with oral allergy syndrome to cause allergy and cross-react with each other.

Results and findings

The contractors concluded that the experimental approach used was able to identify major and minor food allergens, as well as important cross-reactivities between different families of allergens. The contractors also considered that this approach might be used to predict the allergenic potential of new foods.

Dissemination information

The final report is available from the FSA Library and Information centre. 
To obtain a copy, please contact the Enquiry Desk, Dr Elsie Widdowson Library and Information Services, Food Standards Agency (tel: 020 7276 8181/8182 or email:library&

Contact: For any enquiries concerning this research project, please contact the relevant Programme contact or email 

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