Thaumatin and gum arabic allergy in chewing gum factory workers

Thaumatin is a sweetener and flavour modifier commonly used in the food industry. Likewise, gum arabic is widely used as a food stabiliser and thickening agent. In the present study, the authors report that a powder mixture composed of 10% thaumatin and 90% gum Arabic led to allergic symptoms in the upper airways in occupationally exposed individuals: four of eight workers of a chewing gum factory exposed to this powder mixture had pronounced rhinitis. A positive skin prick test result for pure thaumatin was obtained in all four individuals with rhinitis of whom two also had a positive skin prick test result for pure gum arabic and gum arabic-specific IgE. Subsitution of a powdered thaumatin with a liquid form reduced symptoms among the rhinitic workers. Although gum arabic is a well-known potential allergen, the authors were unable to find prior documentation of allergic symptoms to thaumatin when it is used in the food industry.

Authors: Tschannen MP, Glück U, Bircher AJ, Heijnen I, Pletscher C. ;Full Source: American Journal of Industrial Medicine. 2017 May 24. doi: 10.1002/ajim.22729. [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][Epub ahead of print] ;[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]