Allergen labelling

Allergen labelling

In EU legislation, there are 14 groups of food raw materials that must be labelled on food and drink packages if they have been deliberately included as an ingredient or are contained as part of a compound ingredient that is deliberately added to a food. This requirement extends to all products and derivatives of these ingredients, with a few specific exceptions (listed later in this briefing). The requirement is to make the presence of the material or ingredient clearly known.

Food Ingredients that must be labelled

Cereals containing gluten (i.e. wheat, rye, barley, oats, spelt, kamut and hybridised strains)
Milk and products thereof (including lactose)
Nuts, i.e. almonds (Amygdalus communis L.), hazelnuts (Corylus avellana), walnuts (Juglans regia), cashews (Anacardium occidentale), pecan nuts (Carya illinoiesis (Wangenh.) K. Koch), Brazil nuts (Bertholletia excelsa), pistachio nuts (Pistacia vera), macadamia nuts and Queensland nuts (Macadamia ternifolia)
Sesame seeds
Sulphur dioxide and sulphites at concentrations of more than 10 mg/kg or 10 mg/l expressed as SO2.


Following extensive scientific evaluation, it has been agreed that some ingredients derived from an allergenic starting material are highly unlikely to contain any remaining allergen, and so do not pose a risk to an allergy sufferer. These are:


wheat-based glucose syrups including dextrose
wheat-based maltodextrins
glucose syrups based on barley;
cereals used for making distillates or ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin for spirit drinks and other alcoholic beverages.


fish gelatine used as carrier for vitamin or carotenoid preparations;
fish gelatine or Isinglass used as fining agent in beer and wine.


fully refined soybean oil and fat
natural mixed tocopherols (E306), natural D-alpha tocopherol, natural D-alpha tocopherol acetate, natural D-alpha
tocopherol succinate from soybean sources; vegetable oils derived phytosterols and phytosterol esters from soybean
sources; plant stanol ester produced from vegetable oil sterols from soybean sources.

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