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Probabilistic risk assessment model for allergens in food: sensitivity analysis of the minimum eliciting dose and food consumption

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Author: Kruizinga, A.G. · Briggs, D. · Crevel, R.W.R. · Knulst, A.C. · Bosch, L.M.C.v.d. · Houben, G.F.
Institution: TNO Kwaliteit van Leven · KvL
Source:Food and Chemical Toxicology, 5, 46, 1437-1443
Identifier: 240775
doi: doi:10.1016/j.fct.2007.09.109
Keywords: Nutrition · Food and Chemical Risk Analysis · Allergens · Food · Modelling · Probabilistic model · Sensitivity analyses · article · bread · cacao · dose response · food allergy · food intake · minimum eliciting dose · nonhuman · population risk · probability · quantitative analysis · risk assessment · sensitivity analysis · Allergens · Animals · Dietary Proteins · Dose-Response Relationship, Drug · Eating · Food · Food Hypersensitivity · Humans · Models, Statistical · Netherlands · Reproducibility of Results · Risk Assessment


Previously, TNO developed a probabilistic model to predict the likelihood of an allergic reaction, resulting in a quantitative assessment of the risk associated with unintended exposure to food allergens. The likelihood is estimated by including in the model the proportion of the population who is allergic, the proportion consuming the food and the amount consumed, the likelihood of the food containing an adventitious allergen and its concentration, and the minimum eliciting dose (MED) distribution for the allergen. In the present work a sensitivity analysis was performed to identify which parts of the model most influence the output. A shift in the distribution of the MED reflecting a more potent allergen, and an increase in the proportion of the population consuming a food, increased the number of estimated allergic reactions considerably. In contrast, the number of estimated allergic reactions hardly changed when the MEDs were based on a more severe response, or when the amount of food consumed was increased. Development of this work will help to generate a more accurate picture of the potential public health impact of allergens. It highlights areas where research is best focused, specifically the determination of minimum eliciting doses and understanding of the food choices of allergic individuals. © 2008 ILSI Europe and TNO Quality of Life.