The European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA’s) Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) has issued a scientific opinion on the use of egg-derived lysozyme in wine manufacturing after the Oenological Products and Practices International Association (OENOPPIA) applied to permanently exempt the anti-microbial stabilizer from labeling requirements. According to NDA, which was tasked with assessing the likelihood of allergic reaction to lysozyme-treated wine, the additive is approved for use in some foods to control lactic acid bacteria but “must follow purity specifications set forth in European legislation.” Because it can evidently be used “at different stages of wine production and at different doses,” lysozyme was detected in some wines at residual amounts “considered sufficient to trigger allergic reactions in susceptible individuals.”

OENOPPIA had apparently argued that lysozyme is not only “the weakest allergen among the four major egg white proteins,” but unlikely to cause a clinical reaction in egg-allergic individuals when consumed orally. NDA, however, disagreed with this conclusion, countering that (i) allergic sensitization to lysozyme “is common among egg allergic individuals,” (ii) “residual amounts of lysozyme considered sufficient to trigger allergic reactions in susceptible individuals have been demonstrated in wines treated with lysozyme,” and (iii) “a number of clinical reports… described clinical allergic reactions to lysozyme.” As a result, the panel concluded that “wines treated with lysozyme may trigger adverse allergic reactions in susceptible individuals under the conditions of use proposed by the applicant.”