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Overview of Food Allergies and Sensitivities
Food allergies and sensitivities are illnesses that affect certain individuals when eating foods or food ingredients that most consumers can tolerate with no problem.
These illnesses are sometimes called individualistic adverse reactions to foods because they affect only certain individuals in the population. Many different illnesses occur that fall under the broad definition of food sensitivities.
- Food allergies and food intolerances are two common classes of food sensitivities.
Food allergies include immediate hypersensitivity reactions (an example would be food allergy to peanut) and delayed hypersensitivity reactions (an example would be celiac disease)
3 distinct forms of food intolerances are recognized:
Food sensitivities are distinguished from other types of foodborne disease by the fact that they affect only certain individuals in the population. Foodborne infections are caused by infectious bacteria, viruses, and parasites.
Foodborne intoxications are caused by the ingestion of chemical substances that are toxic at typical doses of exposures.
All consumers are susceptible to foodborne infections and intoxications if they ingest foods that are tainted. Admittedly, the degree of susceptibility does vary between individuals. In all cases, the most common form of treatment is implementation of an avoidance diet.
This website is not intended to be clinically oriented. Thus, we will provide links to reliable medical websites that should be consulted as the primary source of this type of information.
Research by the Food Allergy Research and Resource Program (FARRP) in the UNL Dept. of Food Science and Technology focuses on developing and improving analysis to detect allergenic food residue, determining how much is too much of a dose of allergenic foods, identifying and describing food allergens, and examining the processing and digestion of food allergens.
The presence of unlabeled allergens in food products can lead to serious health complications for consumers. Learn more about the resources available from the University of Nebraska to assist food processors with food allergen analysis and safety assessment.
Explore food-related academic majors!
The University of Nebraska–Lincoln (UNL) offers several food-related undergraduate programs in a variety of academic disciplines. Many of these programs are interdisciplinary. More ...