Human Health

What Is Food Allergy?

Content Cover Image

Wheat, soybeans and peanuts can be allergens. Source: NIAID.

What Is Food Allergy?

Food allergy is an abnormal response to a food, triggered by the body’s immune system. There are several types of immune responses to food. The information on this Web site focuses on one type of adverse reaction to food, in which the body produces a specific type of antibody, called immunoglobulin E (IgE).

The binding of IgE antibodies to specific molecules in a food triggers the immune response. Read about what happens during an allergic response to food.

caption Peanuts. The response may be mild, or in rare cases it can be associated with the severe and life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis

If you have a food allergy, it is extremely important for you to work with your healthcare professional to learn what foods cause your allergic reaction. Learn about how healthcare professionals diagnose food allergy.

Sometimes, a reaction to food is not an allergy at all but another type of reaction called food intolerance.



(2012). What Is Food Allergy?. Retrieved from

1 Comment

To add a comment, please Log In.

Lisa Roy wrote: 04-04-2011 23:27:39

Food allergy is an outcome of the misdirection of the reactions to certain foods by the immune system. These food allergy reactions are most commonly seen for protein rich foods, consumed in excess. Just about 2 % of adults and 8 % of children, a total of 10 % of diseased people suffer from food allergies alone. Allergy to food also includes allergy to the additives, like tastemakers, added flavors and essences, used while preparing certain foods.