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Advanced Technology Should Supplement, Not Replace, Foods Allergen Warnings On Labels

January 31, 2011: 12:42 AM EST
A survey of 287 people with allergies or with allergic children Germany, Greece and The Netherlands has found that advanced communication technologies like hand-held scanners could be used with, but not in place of, warning labels. European food manufacturers are required to list potential allergenic ingredients on food labels, and often use wording like “may contain [an allergen]” in case of accidental trace allergens. But is that enough? researchers wondered. They showed participants different warning options, such as a standardized label with symbols, an allergen information booklet, advanced technology such as a device that scans barcodes and warns of allergens, etc. The researchers found that while advanced technology should not replace labels, it may be useful as a supplementary warning method.
Voordouw, J., et al. , "Preferred information strategies for food allergic consumers. A study in Germany, Greece, and The Netherlands", Food Quality and Preference, January 31, 2011, © Elsevier Ltd.
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