Food Allergy Testing

Identify True Food Allergies

The IgE Food Antibody Assessment is a blood test that measures IgE antibodies to 19 of the most common allergenic foods. The panel also includes a total IgE measurement. The body can react to foods in many different ways. The prevalence of food allergies in Western countries is rising, with up to 10% of the population affected. This trend likely involves a complex interplay between genetic, epigenetic, and environmental risk factors.


When should testing for IgE Food Antibodies be considered?

Testing for IgE food antibodies is useful for individuals who suspect that a food is responsible for causing their symptoms. The presence of circulating antibodies may affect each patient differently. According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, "A key message is that a positive allergy test result (skin or blood) indicates only the presence of allergen-specific IgE (called sensitization). It does not necessarily mean clinical allergy (i.e., allergic symptoms with exposure)." Therefore, test results should always be viewed in the context of the overall clinical picture.


Conditions associated with IgE food allergy

  • Hives or red, itchy skin
  • Stuffy or itchy nose, sneezing or itchy, teary eyes
  • Vomiting, stomach cramps or diarrhea
  • Angioedema or swelling
  • Shortness of breath or wheezing
  • Anaphylaxis

Risk factors associated with IgE food allergies

Certain allergy risk factors cannot be modified including male sex in children, race/ethnicity (increased among Asian and black children compared with white children), and genetics (familial associations, HLA, and specific genes). However, the following risk factors can be addressed to reduce/prevent food allergy:

  • Increased hygiene
  • Microbiome imbalance
  • Atopic disease manifestations (comorbid atopic dermatitis)
  • Vitamin D insufficiency
  • Dietary fat (reduced consumption of omega-3-polyunsaturated fatty acids)
  • Reduced consumption of antioxidants
  • Increased antacid use (reducing digestion of allergens)
  • Obesity (being in an inflammatory state)
  • Timing and route of exposure to foods

What advantages are offered by the IgE Food Antibody test compared to other diagnostics?

An IgE allergic response involves immediate-hypersensitivity to a substance. It is generally easier for patients and clinicians to identify a food that causes an immediate response, although not always, and testing serum IgE antibodies can be helpful.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) guidelines state that a combination of medical history, physical examination, and oral food challenge can assist in the diagnosis of food allergy, with the oral food challenge being the gold standard. In some instances, an oral food challenge may be dangerous for the patient and other tools may be helpful.

A skin-prick test involves the injection of an allergen on the skin then observation for a reaction. This method has low specificity and low positive predictive value, and the injection of a substance that can potentially cause a serious reaction should be monitored closely. Serum testing can be especially useful when skin-prick tests cannot be performed (for example, due to extensive dermatitis or dermatographism), or when antihistamines cannot be discontinued.

Allergen-specific serum IgE testing does not involve introducing an allergen in order to test. Instead, already circulating antibodies are measured, however, the patient must have been exposed to the allergen in the days leading up to testing in order to detect antibodies. The NIAID suggests, "sIgE tests are useful for identifying foods potentially provoking IgE-mediated food-induced allergic reactions and specified "cutoff" levels, defined as 95% predictive values, may be more predictive than skin prick tests of clinical reactivity in certain populations, but when used alone they are not diagnostic of food allergy."



IgE Food Antibodies Test


Test name: IgE Food Profile


Laboratory: Genova Diagnostics



Specimen Requirements: 3ml serum in transfer tube (frozen)

  Almond - IgE, Blue Mussel - IgE, Brazil Nut - IgE, Buckwheat - IgE, Coconut - IgE, Cod - IgE, Corn - IgE, Cow's Milk - IgE, Egg White - IgE, Hazelnut - IgE, Oat - IgE, Peanut - IgE, Rice - IgE, Salmon - IgE, Sesame - IgE, Shrimp - IgE, Soy - IgE, Total IgE, Tuna - IgE, Wheat - IgE antibodies.


  Cost IgE Food Profile: £140 (plus shipping plus blood draw)
  Available Add-On Tests:

IgG Food Profile Add-on: ADD £70.00

IgG Vegetarian Profile Add-on: ADD £70.00

IgE Moulds Profile Add-on: ADD £70.00

IgE Inhalants Profile Add-on: ADD £70.00

Coeliac & Gluten Sensitivies Profile Add-on: ADD £70.00

IgG Spice Profile Add-on: ADD £70.00

  Alternative Home Testing for Food Intolerances (IgG4 antibodies only)

Allergix Bloodspot IgG4 Food Antibodies 30 Profile: Can be ordered as standalone test

Specimen requirements: Self collection of "fingerprick" blood spot (instructions in test kit)

Cost: £113.00 plus UK Shipping

  Order Genova Tests for Food Allergy and/or Intolerances with Add-Ons:

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Photography by Shirley Bloomfield-Davies