Vital 3.0 - Updated Set of Reference Doses

The widely recognized Australian/New Zealand Vital 2.0 concept ("Voluntary Incidental Trace Allergen Labelling") for the voluntary labelling of unintentional traces of allergens in food gets an Update on 28 October 2019.

The update is based on the findings of the VITAL Scientific Expert Panel (VSEP), which also determined the previously valid reference doses for VITAL 2.0 in 2011. The additional evaluation and consideration of new data from clinical studies acquired in recent years (since 2011) resulted in partially deviating reference doses, which have now been updated to the latest scientific level in version VITAL 3.0.

Table 1: The following table gives an overview of the previous reference doses according to VITAL 2.0 and the future reference doses according to VITAL 3.0.

Table of Summary of changes to Reference Doses in VITAL Online
Allergen Reference Dose (mg protein) Comment
  VITAL 2.0 VITAL 3.0  
Reference Dose has decreased
Cereals containing
1.0 0.7 Labelling outcomes
may have shifted
from Action Level 1
to Action Level 2 -
check for affected

Soy 1.0 0.5
Sesam 0.2 0.1
Lupin 4.0 2.6
Cashew & Pistachio 0.1 0.05
Pecan & Walnut 0.1 0.03
Reference Dose has increased
Egg 0.03 0.2 Labelling outcomes
may have shifted
from Action Level 2
to Action Level 1.
Milk 0.1 0.2
Fish 0.1 1.3
Crustacea 10 25
New Reference Dose
Celery/Celeriac None 0.05  
Reference Dose in unchanged
Peanuts 0.2 0.2  
almonds, Brazil nuts,
Hazelnuts, Macadamia
0.1 0.1
Mustard 0.05 0.05

Important changes at a glance:

In general, allergens with modified reference doses may lead to a change in the labelling recommendation. Existing formulations should therefore be checked.

1) A reference dose of 0.05 mg is available for celery for the first time (regardless of the plant material used (leaf, stem, tuber and seed)).

2) In the future the group of nuts in VITAL 3.0 will be divided into three groups:
• Cashew nuts and pistachios with a reference dose of 0.05 mg instead of the previous 0.1 mg protein.
• Walnuts and pecans with a reference dose of 0.03 mg instead of the previous 0.1 mg protein.
• other tree nuts (almonds, Brazil nut, hazelnut, macadamia with the previous reference dose of 0.1 mg

From the manufacturer's point of view the increase of the reference doses should cause little excitement at the beginning. In the case of allergens with lower reference values, however, the thresholds previously applied should be re-evaluated as soon as possible. In the worst case, these are now considered to be too dangerous and should therefore carry a warning label to protect the allergy sufferer.

VITAL Online

VITAL Online users will also be updated from version 2.3.30 to version 3.0.0. When the reference doses are changed, recipes in VITAL Online must be checked for changes in the labelling result. The focus should be on all recipes for which the labelling result has changed from promotion level 1 to promotion level 2. The updated version of VITAL Online also includes features to support updating of reference doses or allergen status of ingredients or processing profiles.

The original Allergen Bureau press release announcing the launch of VITAL 3.0 can be found at the following link:


 Further information can be found here: