Wine labels must now declare when there are more than 0.5ppm of milk and egg allergens in a bottle of wine.
Until recently, the only allergen listed on wines was sulphites (sometimes spelt sulfites). Sulphites occur naturally in wine and may also be added as a preservative, but they can cause allergic reactions, particularly in people with asthma.
But two other foods that can cause an allergic reaction are also used in the processing of wines – egg white and milk protein. Egg white is used as a fining agent in the clarification of red wines rich in tannins. Milk protein, particularly casein, is used in the clarification of white and rosé and occasionally some red wines.
Until now, these allergens did not have to be listed. But now The European Commission has put new rules in place and unless wine producers can prove that they were not used in the production of wines, milk and milk-based products, egg and egg-based products must be labelled along with the presence of sulphites/sulfites.
The regulation applies to wines made completely or partially from grapes harvested this year, labelled after the 30th June 2012 and entering the EU from any country. So the ruling applies to all wines, including those from Australia, Chile or California.
To help clarify the labelling, the regulation recommends the use of pictograms like the one shown above to complement the written allergen information on wine and help food allergy sufferers to identify allergens on the label.
Source: AllergyBestBuys enews Oct 12