Purpose of review
Food allergy affects up to 10% of preschool children, and continues to increase in prevalence in many countries, resulting in a major public health issue, with practical implications for the food industry, educational establishments and healthcare systems.
The need to distinguish between food allergen sensitization and true clinical reactivity remains crucial in diagnosis, often requiring formal food challenge to avoid unnecessary dietary elimination. Epicutaneous exposure in the absence of oral tolerance induction during infancy may be an important risk factor for food allergy. Mounting evidence suggests that for milk and egg allergens, many children are able to tolerate the food when heat-modified, and that this may hasten resolution of the allergy.
These developments will hopefully result in a lower adverse impact on quality of life for food-allergic individuals and their families.