Skip to main content

Table 4 Main conclusions and recommendations where future research should focus

From: COST Action ‘ImpARAS’: what have we learnt to improve food allergy risk assessment. A summary of a 4 year networking consortium

1The ImpARAS STSM programme was very fruitful in achieving its objectives of fostering collaborations between individuals and institutions, many of which endure beyond the Action. A network of expertise covering core aspects of immunology, food allergy, protein chemistry, bioinformatics, proteomics and risk modelling is needed to enable and support integrated risk assessment models and strategies well beyond the current state of the art
How: Through members of ImpARAS with support of COST organisation and experience of earlier COST Actions (e.g., INFOGEST)
2A clear outline of preferred decision-making criteria is needed from the risk management sector to help guide researchers during method development and ensure the applicability of newly developed methods to the risk management questions at hand
How: Stakeholder working group and workshop
3There is a need for agreement/consensus on a comprehensive, systematic testing and assessment strategy to identify and characterise the risk of de novo sensitisation and allergic reactions to novel food proteins, which incorporates relevant aspects of exposure, intrinsic protein properties and matrix/processing effects
How: Workshop developed through ImpARAS consortium
4In vitro methods should focus on the different events of the AOP for food allergy sensitisation and initially, especially MIE 1-3 (food protein uptake over mucosal barrier) and KE1 (epithelium activation) using human epithelial cell models
How: European-funded research project
5In vitro and in vivo methods including clear endpoint(s) need to be harmonised and validated for instance in ring trials using specified reference proteins/extracts
How: European-funded research project (possibly jointly with 4 above)
6The current general lack of systematic data to rank existing, known allergenic proteins according to their allergenic potency reflects a significant knowledge gap, which impairs the development and validation of potential methodologies. This could be addressed by investigating responses to homologous series of proteins with different allergenicity, using as a starting point the ImpARAS work on protein pairs
How: European-funded research project
7No single distinct molecular parameter (or pattern) within one protein family seems to be exclusively responsible for the allergenic potential at the site of elicitation. However, continued detailed characterisation of allergens may further elucidate molecular pattern, which present intrinsic adjuvanticity, that further stimulate the immune system towards an increased efficiency in sensitisation against the allergenic protein
How: European-funded research project (possibly joint with 6 above)
8Better knowledge on the impact of different food matrices and food processing on allergenicity of dietary proteins. In addition, the impact of the interaction of food allergens with food components on allergenicity is not fully understood
How: European or national-funded Research project