2005N-0231 Draft Report of the Threshold Working Group, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Approaches to Establish Thresholds for Major Food Allergens and for Gluten in Food; Availability
FDA Comment Number : EC2
Submitter : Dr. Frances Dupont Date & Time: 07/15/2005 05:07:30
Organization : USDA-ARS-WRRC
Category : Federal Government
Issue Areas/Comments
RE: Draft Report of the Threshold Working Group on Approaches to Establish Thresholds for Major Food Allergens and for Gluten in Food. In general, I thought the report did an excellent job of reviewing a difficult subject.

I note that there is not much information in the report on allergies to wheat, although the topic of Celiac Disease is covered extensively. This probably reflects the lack of definitive studies of wheat allergies, but there are some details from the available literature that might be mentioned.

Section 2, Food Allergens, states: 'whereas the principal wheat allergenic proteins are albumins'. This is not necessarily true. Many different wheat flour proteins have been implicated in allergic responses to wheat. Three types of IGE mediated allergic response to wheat have been documented. 1. Baker's asthma appears to be a response to inhaled protein. Non-gluten storage proteins such as the alpha-amylase/trypsin inhibitors are implicated in this response. 2. Gastrointestinal and skin responses follow consumption of wheat. It is not clear which proteins are the major allergens, but gliadins and glutenins may be involved. 3. Excercise-induced anaphylactic shock may follow consumption of wheat. Some studies implicate omega-gliadins in this response.

Also, it is not clear if similar proteins in barley and rye can induce the same responses in subjects who are allergic to wheat. Considerable research is still needed to define which proteins in wheat are responsible for which allegic responses, and to ask the same questions for barley and rye.