In late January 2020 Talia Day, the mother of two young children with severe food allergies testified before the United States Congress on the dangers of undeclared allergens. Her children, like an estimated 1.6 million other Americans, are allergic to sesame. With support from her testimony and the work of groups like FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education), the FASTER Act was signed into law requiring that sesame be declared on food labels as a major food allergen.
Sesame was already considered a major food allergen in Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, much of the Middle East and parts of Asia. Now in the United States, all GMP and manufacturing controls for allergens must include sesame. Furthermore, if present in any quantity, sesame must be called out on product labels. The addition of sesame as a major food allergen requires flavors and fragrance companies to review their processes and supply chains to ensure that any potential source of sesame is identified and controlled. Recent changes to food allergen requirements were not exclusive to the United States. Japan is also expanding its list of major food allergens with walnuts being shifted from a voluntary disclosure status to mandatory labeling.
To discover the entire article, visit the March 2023 Perfumer & Flavorist+ issue.