Combine food allergies and intolerances with the recent agro-industry scandals, add on top a pinch of food hypersensitivity, and you get an explosive mix. Today, consumers are more cautious with the food that they buy.
How can they be certain that they won’t find food allergens in the preparations that they’re consuming? What credit should be given to food information and labelling? One consequence is the fragmentation of diets: vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, paleo, etc. Because choosing a diet based on your nutritional profile is also a way of protecting yourself.
Food allergies and intolerances, what’s the difference?
Food allergies and intolerances are not the same. An allergy is an immune system reaction to a substance within a food: an allergen. It manifests itself via the skin, the respiratory system or the digestive tract. The most common food allergies are eggs, dairy products, grains containing gluten, nuts, fish, crustaceans, and shellfish. However, they differ from one country, or even one region, to another.
A food intolerance, even if it presents similar symptoms, doesn’t involve the immune system. It’s due to an inability to digest a food – such as lactose – and has an effect on the body from certain substances present in foods. In the absence of scientific consensus, intolerance is still subject to controversy.
The case of food hypersensitivities
Food hypersensitivity is a digestive reaction following absorption of a food, but this does not cause intestinal lesions or antibody production. It presents itself mainly for foods that contain gluten, milk or eggs. It can take the form of fatigue, bloating, intestinal troubles but also migraines or joint pain, which sometimes can happen several days after ingestion. Diagnosis is therefore especially delicate.
Solutions for professionals? A food management software
In the face of food allergies and intolerances, and since the appearance of food hypersensitivities, commercial and food service professionals are subject to specific requirements. For those who don’t follow regulation, particularly information regarding allergens, the consequences are significant. Such as an English restaurateur, who was sentenced to 6 years in prison following the death of a client. Despite having specified that he wanted a dish without peanuts, he succumbed to a violent anaphylactic shock.
Youmeal is on the hunt for food allergies and intolerances
This is why Youmeal, a food management software, developed a technology for processing nutritional and food data that minimizes the risk of misinformation about allergens. Supported by artificial intelligence, our advanced algorithms analyze large amounts of data from thousands of reference products. Thanks to a detailed statistical analysis, we can detect and correct inconsistencies.
What’s even better? Our food management system offers a database of generic products that covers different scenarios detected in similar products. This allows agribusiness and restaurant professionals to supply reliable information, even if they’re temporarily working with non-referenced ingredients.
Want to better manage your food data with improved consumer allergen information? Navigate to our menu to discover our web solution for nutritional data classification.