Interview with Andrea Casadio, the creator of AllerGenio
How to help people who are affected by allergies and food intolerance?
A search engine can identify allergens in a database of more than eighteen thousand ingredients, scientifically validated by the laboratory of Human Health Sciences, University of Florence: this is AllerGenio , online platform which is a great help for allergic and intolerant people , since it recognizes the substances to be avoided in food. The goal is to correctly inform customers of a local on the type of allergens present in the meal ordered, so thdey will be able to choose what to eat and where to eat no more worries.
The start-up has received numerous awards and recognition and interest from the Italian scientific and the last year was awarded withw the special prize Italian Food Experience within Creative Business Cup Italy.
Here it is the interview to Andrea Casadio, the ingenious and talented founder of AllerGenio.
Hello Andrea, how was born AllerGenio?
AllerGenio born thanks to my daughter Alessia who is 9 years old and is intolerant to strawberries and chocolate from birth. At the age of two years we started to bring our daughter to various controls and, by skin rash, we found the increasing value of histamine in the blood, which caused her intense itching until they appear of skin lesions. We continued to deepen the situation by bringing our daughter to an allergist, who suggested we do the prick-test: once made, the test showed a prevailing intolerance to strawberry and chocolate. In addition to allergy, you should consider that we have a family bakery, a place with strong temptations! On 14 December 2014 "came knocking at the door" of the pastry a legal requirement, the European Regulation 1169/2011. It was in that moment that I have realized how that obligation could have been a real opportunity, the solution to thousands ... millions of people like Alessia, in Italy and in the world. A support consumption of food safely.
Who are the key stakeholders to your service?
They are mostly operators in the food sector: food service operators in general but also bakeries, ice cream shops. AllerGenio is able to provide at 360 ° all the correct information to any type of food.
From 2014 to today, AllerGenio has followed a long path. Could you tell more about it?
The collaboration with the Department of Nutritional Sciences of the University of Florence is a recognition necessary and essential for the validation of business ideas, as well as for the creation of what is our main asset: the food database. The scientific validation was established through the efforts of extraordinary people 6 and 13 months of work, made in a painstaking and unique in the world: in addition to the 14 allergens provided by European Regulation, we have identified more than 18 thousand ingredients and this is a source of great pride for me and the team who has stood by me.
A complex work, we have made it simple and can also be accessed via a digital platform, where you can locate all the major allergens from regulation as eggs, milk, cereals containing gluten, fruit to shellfish and seafoods etc.
Locate them from thousands of ingredients, even within a so-called derivative, can really save a person's life, which unfortunately did not happen by Chiara Ribechini, the girl dead in Pisa due to a strong allergic reaction.
Can you explain the idea around the development of your project?
Also through research and analysis with the University of Florence and statistics in hand, we verified that 20% of intolerant or allergic people making orders limited at the restaurant because he cannot understand what can and cannot consume.
Through an application transparent, it would give the consumer the ability to choose, add or take alternative dishes, which will inevitably bring more revenue to who proposes them. With IO - so they will call our new application for the consumer - we dream to profile the consumers of our intolerance / allergy and users of AllerGenio from the end of 2018, to indicate which foods they eat, such as restaurants and even customize their menu, all in a few clicks.
Why did you choose to create an app?
We felt that a technological tool as an app was the only prerequisite to be able to have two values, fundamental in the digital age we live today: security and speed. AllerGenio gives an immediate response and is immediately usable by the consumer.
The app connects consumer intolerant or allergic, which has the right to be informed, and the restaurant owner, who has the obligation and duty to be transparent, so as not to incur penalties of up to € 24 000. This is why AllerGenio the pay-off is "Transform an obligation into an opportunity."
The AllerGenio activities also include training for workers in the sector?
We would like to make an Allergens Academy through which release awards that Chef can include in their curriculum. Being recognized as AllergenSafe ™ Cook is a guarantee and gives something extra in the world of work and in professional selection.
Six of Florence, a wonderful city, the Renaissance symbol of Italian artistic culture and social.
Being allergic or intolerant should not be a problem or discriminating!
Author, Italian Food experience – 2018