The European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA’s) Panel on Dietetic Products,
Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) has issued a scientific opinion on the use of
egg-derived lysozyme in wine manufacturing after the Oenological Products
and Practices International Association (OENOPPIA) applied to permanently
exempt the anti-microbial stabilizer from labeling requirements. According
to NDA, which was tasked with assessing the likelihood of allergic reaction
to lysozyme-treated wine, the additive is approved for use in some foods to
control lactic acid bacteria but “must follow purity specifications set forth in
European legislation.” Because it can evidently be used “at different stages
of wine production and at different doses,” lysozyme was detected in some
wines at residual amounts “considered sufficient to trigger allergic reactions in
susceptible individuals.”

OENOPPIA had apparently argued that lysozyme is not only “the weakest allergen among the four major egg white proteins,” but unlikely to cause a clinical reaction in egg-allergic individuals when consumed orally. NDA, however, disagreed with this conclusion, countering that (i) allergic sensitization to lysozyme “is common among egg allergic individuals,” (ii) “residual amounts of lysozyme considered sufficient to trigger allergic reactions in susceptible individuals have been demonstrated in wines treated with lysozyme,” and (iii) “a number of clinical reports… described clinical allergic reactions to lysozyme.” As a result, the panel concluded that “wines treated with lysozyme may trigger adverse allergic reactions in susceptible individuals under the conditions of use proposed by the applicant.

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For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.

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