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Testing and challenge procedures to evaluate allergic and asthmatic reactions to food additives

Ronald A Simon, MD
Section Editor
Scott H Sicherer, MD, FAAAAI
Deputy Editor
Anna M Feldweg, MD


Food additives are synthetic or natural substances added to foods for multiple purposes. Despite the great number of additives used in the food and pharmaceutical industry, only a few have been implicated in true allergic (immunoglobulin E [IgE]-mediated) or other (immunologic or nonimmunologic) adverse reactions [1].

This topic review will discuss testing and challenge procedures used in the evaluation of allergic and asthmatic reactions to food additives. Specific food additives that have been implicated in causing allergic and asthmatic reactions are reviewed elsewhere. (See "Allergic and asthmatic reactions to food additives".)

Other topics that discuss adverse reactions to food additives include:

Occupational asthma and rhinitis in food workers caused by allergens and irritants used in food production and processing (see "Occupational asthma: Definitions, epidemiology, causes, and risk factors" and "Occupational rhinitis").

Food additives and hyperactivity or behavioral changes in children (see "Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents: Epidemiology and pathogenesis", section on 'Dietary influences').

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Literature review current through: Dec 2017. | This topic last updated: Sep 26, 2016.
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