The Real Bread Campaign is calling for any new European food labelling law to flag up bakery enzymes as potential allergens.

It follows ambiguous recommendations from the Council in charge of Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer affairs (EPSCO), which approved draft regulation on ensuring that food labels carry key information in a way shoppers can understand.

EPSCO reports that information on the presence of food additives, processing aids and other substances or products that might cause allergies or intolerances should be given, to help consumers suffering from a food allergy or intolerance to make informed and safe choices. It added: "Bakery enzymes are generally processing aids that can be found in the final product in a merely residual form. Normally they are exempt from labelling, except if they are allergens, in which case they must be labelled by the name of the allergens.

However, Andrew Whitley of the Real Bread Campaign pointed to a German study, which had shown that the potential allergen alpha-amylase survived in the crusts of baked bread. He said justification for not labelling them was usually that they were rendered not present by the baking process but conversely, some were promoted for their ability to withstand the baking process.

Said Whitley: "The EU has recognised that some enzymes are used in a way that renders them as allergens. Enzymes should be taken out of bread altogether failing that, they should be labelled with a description and information about where they came from."