New Feature - Automated Allergens

Posted on May 20, 2024 by

We’re excited to announce new functionality for automated allergen detection and declaration! The big change is that allergens are now set at the ingredient level within our database. This means that for new recipes allergens will automatically populate on your label based on the ingredients selected. In this post, we’ll go over everything you need to know about this new feature.

If you prefer to learn over video, we have a version on our YouTube Channel and embedded below:

Why It Matters

Like all of our updates, we work to make the platform’s experience as easy and intuitive as possible. With this feature, we’ve removed a step in the process. Rather than having to select the applicable allergens when formatting your label, they will now be automatically populated based on your ingredients. While this saves some time, more importantly it reduces the risk of errors.

The allergen declaration is arguably the most important aspect of nutrition labeling. In fact, undeclared allergens caused the largest number of food safety recalls in 2023. Any errors here can lead to serious health risks for consumers and, in turn, substantial brand and financial consequences for food manufacturers. Our new functionality substantially reduces the risk that any allergens are inadvertently left off of your labeling.

How It Works

We’ve attached applicable allergens to their ingredients within our database. Our system detects known allergens based on the ingredient name and ingredient statement. Beyond that, we had our experts review and verify the top 90% of ingredients by usage to ensure accuracy. So if you were to use Worcestershire Sauce as an ingredient, the label would automatically indicate “contains anchovies” because that’s one of Worcestershire Sauce’s sub-ingredients. Additionally, if you were to create a sub-recipe, all of its allergens would carry over to the other recipes it is used in.

It’s important to keep in mind that our database is composed of USDA ingredients as well as user created ingredients. So if you are adding a new custom ingredient to our database, you will now be prompted to indicate its allergens upon creation. You should also make sure to verify the allergen information for past user-created ingredients in your recipes.

To house this new functionality there is now a page for “Allergens”. Here you can see the ingredients used in a recipe and all of their applicable allergens.

Allergens Tab

You still have the option to manually override the ingredient-level allergens and instead set them at recipe level. If you choose this option then your recipe’s allergens will be “locked” and any update to recipe ingredients will not affect the allergen declaration. If necessary, we also give you the ability to edit the allergens associated with specific ingredients. In order to make a change, you simply check off the appropriate allergens.

You can make these edits within a specific recipe or view all of your ingredients and allergens together. Editing an ingredient-level allergen will affect all of the recipes that use that ingredient.

Additionally, setting facility allergens now takes place within the "Allergen" tab. While facility allergens are optional, some companies choose to list them to provide extra transparency to consumers. If you check off facility allergens then your label will list those allergens preceded by the statement, "Manufactured in a facility that also processes:".

How It Affects Legacy Recipes

Recipes created before the update (i.e. legacy recipes) will not be affected. These recipes will be locked and continue to use whatever recipe-level allergens were previously set. However, all new recipes will use the ingredient-level allergens to populate the label.

If you’d like to turn on ingredient-level allergens for individual legacy recipes you can do so by unchecking the “manually edit allergens for this recipe” button. If you’d like to turn this feature on for all of your old recipes at once then we have an export that lets you see exactly how this would affect your recipe’s allergens before you commit to it. Here’s how it works:

  • From the allergens page, use the export to "Download All Recipe Allergens to spreadsheet"
    • This export will show you any differences between the set allergens of your old recipes and the allergens based on the ingredients.
  • If it looks good, you can choose to "disable manual allergen editing on all recipes" from the bottom of the "All ingredient allergens" page.
  • If not, you can edit the ingredient-level allergens and download the comparison again until you’re ready to commit to the changes.

Closing Thoughts

This powerful new feature will save you time and promote accurate allergen declarations. While allergens are now automated, it’s still important for users to review and confirm allergens, especially in the early stages of this update. We’re very open to feedback (that’s where this feature came from in the first place), so let us know how this is working for you and any ways that we could make it better. We’ll be continuing to make adjustments based on your feedback.

About Jack Scotti

Jack Scotti ReciPal

Jack Scotti is the director of marketing at ReciPal. Prior to joining the team he was a founder of Story2, an edtech company that teaches people how to advocate for themselves through the neuroscience of storytelling. One of the first activities in any Story2 workshop was to share a memorable meal story. So even before working in the food industry, he got to experience the amazing way food connects us all. (Ask him about his family’s feast of the 7 fishes or only eating ravioli in multiples of four.) Now, he couldn’t be more excited to help food business create more dinner table memories.

Learn something? Check out similar posts:

Learn why hundreds of food entrepreneurs already use ReciPal to manage their recipes, costs, and create nutrition labels.

Just want lessons on growing a food business?

We're learning a lot and so will you.

Your information will not be shared.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Sevice apply.

comments powered by Disqus

Search the Blog

Want To Grow Your Food Business?

Food folks just like you have had great experiences making nutrition fact labels, costing recipes, and managing inventory with our web app. It was designed by food entrepreneurs for food entrepreneurs, so it makes sense.

Popular Posts


Private Labeling FoodGetting Started With Food LabelsCopackingFood MarketingGetting Into RetailFood Label NewsInventory ManagementFeaturesDatabase Nutrition AnalysisLabeling Rules And GuidelinesContestsGuest PostsTips And TricksFood PackagingEngineeringPressResourcesFundraisingPricing Your ProductEntrepreneur Interviews

ReciPal: Simple Software for Food Businesses

Join some of the most successful food brands
in creating nutrition labels, costing your products, and tracking inventory on ReciPal.

Start your free trial now!