Many countries require food products containing major allergens to declare so on the product’s packaging. However, regulations dictating which allergens must be disclosed, and how, vary by country or region. In the U.S., for example, the specific breed of fish or shellfish must be declared.
Shown in the graphic below are required allergens, listed by country, that we include in Genesis R&D Foods.
In addition, some regulations allow for the voluntary display of allergens that could have inadvertently come into contact with a product’s ingredients.
This blog will cover how to build, view, and edit your allergen statements as well as how to add new allergens to the database.
Allergens in Genesis R&D Food
Genesis R&D comes pre-populated with the top allergens for each country. Because the program errs on the side of caution, all ingredients in the ESHA database, as well as all user-added ingredients, will initially have all allergens selected.
Genesis R&D allows you to add your own allergens to the database. To do this:
- Navigate to the Database tab from the ribbon and click Modify.
- Select the Allergens tab and click new.
- Type in the name of the allergen and choose its default location (either the Contains statement or May Contain statement), and add translations for other languages, if necessary. In this example, the default location is in the Additional Allergen (May Contain) statement.
4. Click OK. (Note: Your user-added allergen will appear in blue.)
Modifying Allergens at the Ingredient Level
- Open or create a new Ingredient.
- Select Allergens. Your list of allergens will look something like this, with all of the default allergens, but the user-added ones, checked:
Note: If you have different or additional labeling modules, any allergens associated with that country’s or region’s labeling laws will appear here.
- Check any allergens present in your ingredient and uncheck the rest. You can uncheck them all by selecting “Clear All Allergens.”
Now when you use this Ingredient in a Recipe, only the allergens selected appear in the Recipe allergen statement, which you can see in the next example.
Modifying Allergens at the Recipe Level
- Open or create a new Recipe.
- Click Allergen Statement on the Recipe ribbon. This opens the Allergen Statement window.
- The top pane shows the allergens associated with this Recipe as a whole.
- The middle pane shows which allergens are associated with which Ingredients. Notice that the allergens from the banana in the previous example are unchecked, as are almonds.
- The bottom pane shows how this allergen statement will appear on the label.
- At this point, you can either uncheck the allergen in the top or middle panes. If you know that you can safely remove the egg from all Ingredients, uncheck eggs in the top (Recipe) pane. When you uncheck an allergen in the Recipe pane, you will get a message warning you that this action will clear the allergen from the Recipe and all Ingredients used in the Recipe.
- Click Yes and continue in the same manner for fish, peanut, shellfish, and wheat. You will have something like this:
- The whipped topping contains milk and soy, so uncheck milk and soy for every other ingredient but leave them checked for the whipped topping.
- For the peaches, there is a possibility there may be residual almond contamination on the processing machinery. While almonds are tree nuts, again, the regulations require that you display the specific type of tree nut, so uncheck tree nuts in the top pane but check almonds for the peaches.
Allergens at the Allergen Statement Level
Your allergen statement will look like this (allergens are listed in alphabetical order, not by weight):
And your additional allergen statement will look like this (almonds appear in the “May Contain” allergen statement by default):
The almond allergen is due to concern about possible cross-contamination. There was not any almond contamination detected in the peaches themselves, so you can declare “almonds” in the Additional Allergen statement as a cautionary measure. Such a statement is a voluntary option per most country’s regulations.
Note “May Contain” is not required wording. You could also use something like “This product was processed on machinery used to process…” or “May contain traces of…” or whatever makes sense for your product. You can change the wording by clicking Edit and manually typing in new text.
Allergens on the Label
- When you have finished editing your Allergen Statement, Click OK.
- Click Label display and you will see your allergen statement appear next to your label.
This tutorial goes over these instructions in video format.
This tutorial goes over adding allergens to the Genesis R&D database.