7. November 2022
The challenge of food labelling

Berlin, 7 November 2022 – Not always easily legible: the small print on packaging. This can become a problem for people with food intolerances. Much has been achieved for them in recent years – after all, there are now 14 main allergens that have to be labelled on the packaging; even trace amounts of up to two percent.


Here is where the challenge lies: “The law prescribes a minimum text size for this labelling. The problem with this: These 1.2 millimetres are not always easily legible,” explains Professor Torsten Zuberbier, Chairman of the European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation – ECARF, Berlin.


The new “CheckWise” app (freely available on IOS/Android) uses text recognition to make everyday life easier. This app not only identifies possible allergens in food, but also additives (E numbers), fragrances and ingredients in cosmetics and care products, as well as 29 different types of sugar and sugar substitutes. Unlike other scanner apps, CheckWise scans the text on food, cosmetic and personal care products and does not rely on the barcode. This makes the result much more reliable.


The CheckWise app is quick, easy and intuitive to use. The chosen product is scanned, the app detects possible allergens in food and users get the result on their smartphone within seconds. Easily legible. The result is automatically compared with a personal and individualised allergen list that was entered beforehand. “Nut”, for example, or even complicated terms as for the preservative “methylisothiazolinone,” emphasises Torsten Zuberbier.


Info about the free app: www.checkwise.eu/



Since 2006, the non-profit European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation (ECARF) has been certifying products and services on the basis of scientific quality criteria with the ECARF Seal of Quality, the only Europe-wide certificate for allergy-friendly products and services. ECARF also supports allergy research and initiatives to improve the medical treatment of allergic diseases at the European level.