What are Allergies and Sensitivities?

Allergies and sensitivities happen when our immune system become overly reactive to something in our environment. Once stimulated, our immune system initiates a series of reactions within, give rise an array of symptoms.

Common foods like diary, egg, gluten, soy and nuts as well as inhalants like pollens, animal dander and dust mites are the most common allergens.

Types of Food Reactions and their Mediators

Immediate Onset Reactions


Delayed Onset Reactions


Mediators IgE antibodies IgG antibodies
Reaction Within minutes Take hours or days to show up
Symptoms Short reaction time and dramatic symptoms
→ Easy to trace the culprits
Long-lasting and subtle symptoms
→ Hard to trace the offending foods

Who has Sensitivities?

45% of the population are estimated to be suffering from delayed food reaction.1  More than half (54.6%) of all U.S. citizens test positive to at least one allergen. Food allergies affect approximately 6% of young children and nearly 4% of adults in the U.S.2


The Relationship between Food Sensitivities and Health

Yet many food sensitivities are either neglected or untreated, manifest as common chronic symptoms that do not respond to conventional appraoches.

Hidden food reactions burden our immune system, overload defense and reduce repair capacity. Our immune system can become occupied by the reactions unnecessary to take place. This leaves our body more prone to chronic infections and susceptible to chronic, autoimmune or serious lifestyle diseases.


1 Allergy UK
2 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology

Symptoms Associated with Food Sensitivities


Eczema, Skin rashes, Urticaria, Dry skin, Psoriasis, Herpetiformis, Hair follicle inflammation


Indigestion, Gas & Bloating, Diarrhea, Mouth sores, Constipation, Cramping pain, Hiccup, Vomiting, Gastroxia


Anxiety, Learning disabilities, Hyperactivity, Autism, Depression, Food cravings, Poor concentration


Joint Pain, Arthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Muscle Aches

Ear & Eyes

Auditory vertigo, Ear effusion, Tinnitus, Itchy eyes


Hypertension, Migraines, Hypotension


Chronic fatigue, Giddiness, Head swelling, Insomnia, Abnormal blood sugar level, Weight fluctuation, Water retention, Obesity, Overweight

Food Allergy? Food Sensitivity? Food Intolerance?

‘Food allergy’, ‘food sensitivity’ and ‘food intolerance’ are often used interchangeably to describe any unpleasant experience after eating the ‘wrong’ foods. It could be very confusing as they share many of the same signs and symptoms.

Food Allergies Food Sensitivities Intolerances
Involve immune system Yes Yes No3
Reaction Immediate
Within minutes
Show up in hours or days
Show up in hours or days
Terms in everyday Classic allergy
Acute allergy
True food allergy
Delayed food allergy
Always get mixed up with allergies and sensitivities Easy to trace the culprits
Symptoms Could look the same4


3 The University of Nebraska-Lincoln
4 The University of Rochester and University of Chicago

Three Approaches to Delayed Sensitivities

Food Sensitivity Test - We care about

YOUR food sensitivities


The latest technologies in laboratory medicine are now able to precisely measure our immune system response to various foods, from small blood samples.

Our test will help you discover with ease what you could continue eating or avoid in your diet to minimize the adverse food reactions and relieve the overloading immune system.

Compare Different Tests in the Market

Test for food reaction can be categorized into two main types: Skin test and blood test.

Skin Test

Inject food proteins onto the skin and observe the redness and itchiness resulted, indicate the immediate (IgE) reaction

Blood Test

Analyze blood for food-specific antibody levels, can indicate both immediate (IgE) and delayed (IgG) reaction


We work with the world-renowned laboratories and provide the most comprehensive testing services from our team of scientists and technicians. Our reliable detection technology with a high accuracy rate of over 85%, providing a high sensitive measure of the level of antibodies in the bloodstream and identify the sensitization culprits that can cause you to be unwell. We cooperate with two laboratories in Europe and the United States.

US laboratories – Fully automated system, high sensitivity, widely adopted

IgE Testing
  • This fully automated system with a higher level of sensitivity allows a more precise IgE detection, which enables to detect even with the tiny or non-obvious immune responses, which helps identify the allergen culprit.
  • The system is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the outstanding performance and reliability.
IgG Testing
  • In order to achieve the highest accuracy in IgG testing, each sample would undergo repeated testing with the use of ELISA technology along with the fully automatic mechanized system.
  • A thorough analysis can be easily carried out by finger prick.
  • According to a Swedish study, HK BioTek employs the highest accuracy and sensitivity of ELISA technology, which is the only testing service that provides reliable test results with consistency.

German laboratory – ISO double certification, a reliable technology, European allergen test expert

IgE and IgG testing
  • Awarded with double certification ISO 9001 and EN ISO 13485, which is the most qualified scientific assurance.
  • The performance of ELISA techniques, regular monitoring and the verification of “repeatable” results of tests allow to achieve the test result with the highest accuracy.
  • This test allows you to test how your body responses to about 300 food items with just a small amount of blood sample.
  • This laboratory is also a Europe leading manufacturer of allergen reagents that with the professional research team and outstanding quality assurance.

Implications of measuring total IgE values

IgE antibodies appear as a result of sensitization to allergens, total IgE measures the total quantity of circulating IgE in human serum or plasma samples. An elevated total IgE values indicates that your immunity is weakened (Immune system overload, thus fail to protect cells from functioning). The measurement of total IgE values allows an early detection and diagnosis of allergy and provides an aid in the clinical diagnosis of IgE-mediated allergic disorders.

Effectively assess asthma, allergic rhinitis, urticaria, eczema, allergic diarrhea and other chronic symptoms as excessive IgE values are usually seen in patients suffering from these conditions.

How to choose a reliable testing service provider?

According to Dr. Nina Pierpont (2009), a Doctor of Medical Science, a real gold standard of science is based on a careful observation and precise measurement. REPRODUCBILITY is defined as the same result is collected after the repetition of the above mentioned procedures. This means a sample is tested repeatedly, with its result validated for the highest accuracy1.

When choosing a reliable testing service, you should enquire the testing service provider or look up the testing details online with the testing details, as well as understanding the accuracy and data of the test that you are planning to take. You may also check whether the testing laboratory offers ‘repeatable’ test results.


U.S. laboratory: According to a study published in the U.S. Journal of Natural Medicine, the difference between the test results should be minimized in order to be clinically proven2. Our IgG testing is both reproducible and reliable.

German laboratory: ISO double certification, with a regular monitoring of the laboratory performance. This remains the consistency of the test results neither from inter-testing or intra-testing, well-performed with an extremely high ‘reproducibility’.


1 Byrd, D. et al., 2000

2 NMJ Original Research: Reproducibility and Reliability of Two Food Allergy Testing Methods By Wendy Hodsdon, ND, and Heather Zwickey, PhD


Testing at Clinics

Our service is carried by 450+ healthcare professionals in Hong Kong and Macau. Our staff could refer you to practitioners that suit you, according to the location, nature of practice and your insurance coverage.

  • Western medicine physicians (General Practice, Paediatric, Dermatology, ENT, etc)
  • Chinese Medicine Practitioners
  • Dietitians or Nutritionists
  • Naturopath or other holistic practitioners

If you wish to take the test with your family doctor, please let us know your name and the name of your doctors. We will contact them for you and make our test available to you at your greatest convenience.

Our email: info@hkbiotek.com and our contact number: +852 2763 1488.


Food Sensitivities Testing in Macau

We have a number of specialists in Macau carrying our service in Macau. Please feel free to contact us for referral and further information.

extensive test items

categories of test items

Food panels: For Delayed (IgG) or Immediate (IgE) reaction

Test options from the US Laboratory A flag

112 Asian Foods (IgG)

Common Asian fruits, vegetables and spices

96 General Foods (IgG)

A variety of dairy products and cereals

96 Vegetarian Foods (IgG)

Covers a wider variety of grains and legumes

19 Foods (IgE)

Covers  the eight key food allergens

20 Inhalants (IgE)

Focus on Immediate onset reaction: Covers Trees, Grasses, Weeds and Indoor allergens such as dust mites, cat and dog dander

16 Inhalants (IgG)

Focus on Delayed onset reaction: Includes three major types of allergen: Grass, Mold and Indoor allergens

15 Molds (IgE)

Focus on Immediate onset reaction: Covers common mold allergens that found in Human, Plants, Soil, Food, Indoor and Outdoor

Test options from the German Laboratory G flag


Tailor-designed food panels for the local market

88 Greater China Foods (IgG/IgE)

Includes some unique local items such as Freshwater fish, Chinese spices, Fruits and Vegetables

280 Greater China Foods (IgG/IgE)

Includes unique local items such as Freshwater fish, Chinese spices, Fruits and Vegetables



Insomnia & Fatigue

Angela (28 year old)
“Thanks to HK BioTek. I now find myself free of the persistent fatigue and bouts of insomnia. At that time, I was studying my master degree and having a stressful job. I felt exhausted but couldn’t sleep at night. Had a number of tests ordered through my GP, but still clueless on what was happening. I really didn’t think this could happen on me when I was still under 30. These in fact turned out to be a problem with diary, egg and cherry. After a slight change in diet for 1 month, I felt the energy has come back and I am better than I was.”


Timothy (9 years old)
“Timothy suffered from Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) when he was just nine. The report of the test indicated that he was highly allergic towards daily products, egg, gluten and many fruits. We therefore follow the diet plan and the effect was almost instant. He has become much calmer, his temper improves a lot and so did his school work. I know several of parents having kids with autism/ADHD problem have had the tests done as well and their response was the same.”
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Jamie (4 years old)
“My kid suffered from asthma since she was four. Followed up by several famous specialists in the town, her situation had not got better. I didn’t want to put her on inhalers or medicine for the rest of her life. I bought her to a clinic carrying HK BioTek’s IgG test. The report showed that she was immensely allergic to a variety of foods. We were not surprised and started avoiding the reactive food for her as advised by the nutritionist. After avoiding the reactive foods for 3 months, her condition was getting relatively stable. My family was very blessed to find the way to manage asthma, but will still watch Jamie’s diet very carefully.”

Chronic Diarrhea & Bloating

Chris (30 years old)
“On a daily basis, I would have bloating and diarrhea. It could be quite severe sometimes. Plus I was generally quite irritable due to the discomfort of my stomach. I did sought help from many doctors and went through many checkups. One of my doctor friends suggested me to try to test for food sensitivities that worked for himself in other symptoms. My results revealed that I was highly reactive to egg white and gluten. My symptoms improved significantly after 2 weeks. I am quite sure my problem are caused by these foods because when I ate them accidentally, the symptoms will most likely come back in the next one to 2 days.”

Chronic Infections

Lok (4 years old)
“Since Lok was 2 years old, he started having frequent episodes of various illnesses including viral fever, gastroenteritis, conjunctivitis, and rhinitis, recurrent attacks of bronchitis, urticaria and constipation. His father and me also felt weird about this because Lok used to be quite healthy. Until we took part in a health talk and talked with the doctor, he suggested that Lok should take an IgG test and the result showed that he is severely allergic to dairy products and soy. After removing these offending foods from his diet, Lok has gradually regained his health. As time passed by, he has become much stronger now”


Chloe (17 years old)
“I have to say that I was a little skeptical when firstly knew after this test. I have battled with eczema since I was few months old, tried almost every treatment available. The experience from all these years makes me feel that having dry, itchy and sensitive skin may be part of my personality. I was then found to be positive to some common foods. I saw an almost instant improvement in my symptoms.
I have already forgot why I would get myself tested, but it is definitely bliss to be symptom free, and I have never imagined this would work for my skin.”

Chronic Cough & Runny Nose in the morning

Helen (48 years old)
“I came for testing after suffering with a tickly cough which both many doctors and I have been unable to find a cause for. This test was a bit of a last ditch attempt for the cause. My result came back to show I have a strong reaction to dairy, shrimp, corn and sesame. I was also moderately reactive to egg white. By following the customized rotation diet, the symptom improved dramatically. Surprisingly, I used to sneeze a lot after waking up, now it’s almost gone.”

Skin rashes/Eczema

Mr. Leung (25 years old)
“I had had rashes since I was young. My skin condition was the worst, sometimes with bloody wounds.
I did look for medication but it was a recurrent issue to me. Recommended by my friends, I tried IgG test and found that I had severe reactions towards eggs and dairy products, which are very common in my routine. I felt doubtful at the beginning but I tried avoiding these items. After few weeks of avoiding eggs, less redness and bleeding are observed. I was very lucky to know what worsen my skin!”



1. What are the strengths of our Food Antibody test?

  • This testing uses a highly sensitive system that could reflect your immune response in the body even is non-obvious
  • A comprehensive range of testing items
  • It only requires a few drops of blood for the IgG testing
  • We employed certified laboratories with exquisite detection technology for the highest accuracy
  • A customized rotational diet guide is provided along with the testing report

2. Can the test provide accurate and reliable testing results?

US Laboratories: The tests utilize a fully automated robotic system (Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay and Enzyme-amplified chemiluminescence technology). This allows you to find out the level of the antibodies produced in response to the food you have consumed precisely, providing a reliable quality assurance.  All tests are conducted in a U.S. government accredited laboratory, each sample would be run twice to generate reliable and consistent results. U.S. Laboratories is an independent clinical laboratory approved by CLIA (US Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments), and the accreditation from COLA (US Commission on Office Laboratory Accreditation).  U.S. Laboratories is also licensed by the State of Washington to perform testing worldwide.

German laboratory: Double certification of ISO 9001 and EN ISO 13485, with a regular monitoring of the laboratory performance. This remains the consistency of the test results neither from inter-testing or intra-testing, well-performed with an extremely high ‘reproducibility’ and accuracy.  This laboratory is also a Europe leading manufacturer of allergen reagents that with the professional research team and outstanding quality assurance.

Read All

3. How can you ensure the quality blood sample on strip during transit?

The sampling strips will be air-dried at room temperature for at least 45 minutes before sending out to the laboratory. The dried blood sample is much less likely to be contaminated by bacteria. Our unique requisite technology and micro-strip are experimental proven for the stability of the blood quality for a minimum of 3 weeks.
It is confirmed that there are no difference between the samples using micro-strip and blood drawing after repeated quality testing. Therefore, micro-strip owns an equal function and effectiveness as blood drawing sample.

4.Some of food testing in the market only measure Total IgE?

  • The body produces IgE antibodies when we come into contact with allergens. Measuring Total IgE enables clinical diagnosis of allergic diseases that caused by IgE antibodies. A high value of Total IgE indicates your immune system is weakened.
  • However, Total IgE may not be effective enough to identify the allergen, which becomes challenging for health practitioners to avoid the allergens through food elimination.

5. What’s special about the Mold Panel (IgE)?

Air-born allergens are common cause of allergic diseases, while mold spore is one of the most common allergens. Mold favors warm and humid condition. The weather of Hong Kong, Tai Wan and South China are humid and hot. Mold pretty much appears in every season and everywhere at home, such as walls, bathroom, the gaps between the tiles, furniture or even on leather shoes. Imagine how much mold we have already inhaled without actually knowing.

Asthma, other respiratory illnesses or weakened immune systems are the common symptoms of mold allergies. Our tests cover the mold antigens of plants and animals antigens, soil, food, indoor and outdoor, which allows you to identify your allergens and thus avoid them.

6. What should I do if I want to take the test at a clinic?

More than 400 doctors in Hong Kong and Macau provide our testing service, including pediatric specialist, dermatologist and other health care practitioners. In addition to providing delayed onset (IgG) testing, we also provide immediate response (IgE) testing. In order to help patients to eliminate allergens and remain a healthy and balanced diet, we provide comprehensive nutritional and related training to healthcare practitioners. On the one hand, doctors own a wealth of medical knowledge and clinical experience. Please feel free to contact us for any enquiries. We are also very welcome if you could provide details of your family doctors, to allow us contact your family doctors directly for further discussion whether is appropriate to take the test in their clinic. .


1. How do I go about the Food Antibody testing?

You can:

  • Make an appointment for blood sampling at our office or our sampling outlets all over Hong Kong;
  • Purchase the test kit from us, collect the blood sample on your own, then return it back to us;
  • Do it at the clinic of your family doctor or doctors carrying our tests

We can:

  • Conduct the test at your family doctor clinic or refer doctors who uses ou service

Our Office Hour: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. (Mon-Fri); 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (Sat); Closed on Sun & Public Holidays

2. How much blood is needed for the food antibodies test?

For testing the delayed onset reaction, minimally only few drops of blood is needed. For the immediate onset reaction, the exact amount of blood needed depends on the type of test you enrolled.

You will be arranged to undergo a blood drawing at a lab in your preferred location. Please contact our staffs for further assistance in choosing the best fit of package for you.



1. Should I be fasting before my blood sampling ?

No fasting is required. This test is a semi-quantitative analysis of the antibodies presented in the body, all food consumed prior the testing is taken into account.

2. Is the Food Antibody test suitable for all ages ?

There is no restriction on age limit. However, infant started to produce their own antibodies after 20 weeks of birth. Ideally, this test is suitable for infants aged 6 months or above, and started introducing solid foods.


J ournal of Experimental Medicine. 1965 Nov 30; 122(6): 1173–1188.

3. Should I take the test if I am pregnant ?

Genetic predisposition is one of the contributing factors towards the development of adverse food reaction in infants. If the pregnant women are continually consuming reactive foods without noticing, IgE or IgG antibodies are produced by the immune system. This may transfer to the infant and increase the risk to develop food reaction in later life. Therefore, pregnant women are advised to take the test in advance in order to lower the risk of the baby from developing food allergy or sensitivity.

4. Should I consume a variety of food before taking the test?

Any of the IgG antibody testing is able to reflect the situation of your diet for the past 3 months, while IgE antibody testing could only reveal the reactions took place 48 hours before testing. The whole purpose of this test is to identify whether there are any discomfort foods appearing in your current diet. In order to reveal the real situation of your body, we generally recommended clients to remain a regular eating habit prior to testing.

It is recommended to consume food items from the testing food list that you seldom include in your diet at least 1 week before taking the test. This would greatly improve the degree of detecting potential reactive foods.

 It is important to note that if you have a medical history of anaphylaxis or serve any allergic reaction, you should avoid consuming food items that have served allergic reaction as secondary exposure can prove fatal. Please consult your healthcare practitioners if you have any questions or concerns about this test.

5.Can I take this test if I am taking Traditional Chinese or Western medicine?

Regarding any ongoing medication, the major concern is steroidal drugs (e.g. cortisone). This is because steroidal drugs can suppress the immune function and may reduce the secretion of antibodies, potentially causing ‘false negative’ results. It is strongly advised to finish taking the steroidal drug at least 3 weeks prior testing, while tropical steroid is not part of the concerns.

6. Do I need a doctor’s prescription to have the food antibody test done?

A doctor’s prescription is not required if is seeking for health advice or for non-diagnostics purpose.

7. Should my kid take the food antibody testing if only consumed a small variety of food?

As it has been mentioned, IgG antibody testing is able to reflect the situation of your diet for the past 3 months, while IgE antibody testing could only reveal the reactions took place 48 hours before testing. The result of ‘false negative’ may appear if the test client has never been eaten any of the food items in the food list. Since the body has never come contact with the tested food items, no antibodies are produced as an immune response and become undetectable.

Under this circumstance, some parents would arrange the food antibody testing after the kid has grown slightly and increase the complexity of diet. Meanwhile, some parents would like to identify any potential food allergens that have been shown up with symptoms.


1. What information does the report provide?

Aller-Food Check result will be shown in bar charts, according the food categories. The classes of 0 to VI denotes the level of antibodies detected through detected through ELISA or Enzyme-amplified Chemiluminescence assay.

For IgG and/or IgA:

– Abstain from the reactive foods based on the allergic level.
– Rotate the foods that are in the low or no-reaction category.
Level O: Foods in this column can be eaten freely.
Level I to II: Low amount of antibodies are present against specific food. For the first 3-month you may rotate these foods every 7 days, then rotate these foods every 4 days afterwards.
Level III: Moderate amount of antibodies are present against these specific foods. You should avoid these foods for a 3-month period, and rotate these foods every 4 days afterwards.
Level IV to VI: There are elevated antibodies in the body against these specific foods. You should avoid these foods for at least 6-9 months, depending on your health conditions, and re-introduce carefully later.

For IgE:

Items with positive results should be avoided in your lifetime.

The reports will come with a rotational diet guideline and a wallet card lists out the reactive foods (when there is any result greater than level III), as well as information sheets and rotational diet booklets for you to make good use of the test result.

2. How do we go about report interpretation ?

You will receive the test result via email and be interpreted by our Nutrition consultants via phone or face-to-face consultation. Hard copies of the report as well as other supporting material will be handed to you during consultation or posted to you. You can always reach our customer hotline (852) 2763 1488 when necessary.

3. I am found to be IgG positive to cow’s milk and egg. Would I be nutritionally deficient if I completely avoid these protein rich foods?

You may follow the customized rotation diet reference to avoid the offending foods. Remember that there are always substitutes for most of the offending foods. For example, if you are allergic to cow’s milk, most nutritionists will suggest soy milk, rice milk or almond milk to be the best available alternatives, and you can obtain calcium and protein from other food sources as well.

4. Should I retest?

You will have a 6 to 9 month of food elimination process after identifying your offending foods. A follow up test would be necessary if you would like to reconfirm whether you are still reactive to the offending foods, and a retest would also be able to identify if you may experience new offending items when you are in the process of elimination.

5. How long does it take to improve my symptoms after the test ?

In most cases, if your condition is due to allergies or sensitivities to food or inhalant, you should notice improvement of your symptoms in a couple of weeks of avoidance.

If your symptoms persist, you should consider other factors could play a role in affecting your current health conditions. After all, avoiding offending foods is one of the factors that you could start with or control, but it is not the magic bullet for all health issues.

6. Can the test result of IgE indirectly reveal body’s IgG reactions?

No. We have two separate pathways and mechanisms for IgE and IgG reactions. Even though people may observe the same or similar symptoms for IgG and IgE reactions, they are not necessarily related. Based on our observations, test clients often display different IgG and IgE reactions towards the same food. If you have difficulties in choosing the right test, you should consult your practitioners’ advice by taking reference of your own medical history. HK BioTek’s food antibodies tests cover IgE, IgG and IgA to meet your clinical needs. You are always welcome to contact us.

7. As revealed by some online articles, testing for IgG will lead to death?

Special attention should be paid to the potential misunderstanding between IgG and IgE. IgG and IgE works differently and it is not sensible to assume the same reaction apply to one and another. Some people may perceive that testing for IgG might potentially lead to death. In fact, there are several major methods to test for allergies or sensitivities. Blood test, one of the available methods, is deemed to be the least risky in nature (unless the patients are having clotting problems, or having unpleasant past experience in blood drawing). Sparse cases of death related to skin prick test were recorded in the USA in 1990-2001 2. The first death related to Oral Food Challenge in the USA was reported in August, 2017 3. Up till now, no fatal cases related to IgG testing are reported.


2 Bernstein D., Wanner M, Borish L, Liss GM., 2004. Twelve-year survey of fatal reactions to allergen injections and skin testing: 1990-2001. J Allergy Clin Immunol., 113:6, pp. 1129-36. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15208595

Allergists Respond to Death of 3 year-old Boy During Oral Food Challenge. American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology; American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology; and the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 2017. Retrieved from: http://acaai.org/allergists-respond-death-3-year-old-boy-during-oral-food-challenge

8. Does IgG antibody only reflect the food I eat? And the more I eat, the more reactive I am towards that food?

Your body does not react to a certain kind of food, but if you eat too often, the body may not be able to handle too much of a food, your immune system will produce IgG antibodies against this food gradually. Theoretically, to know your results towards certain food, you need to consume the food first. In fact, any blood tests (no matter IgG/ IgE) require the test clients to be exposed to allergens. Common allergens of IgG antibody test are egg, dairy and gluten, since they are frequent food in our daily diets, people may perceive that the more I eat, the more reactive I am towards that food, and the IgG results only reflect what food are included in my diet. However, rice, pork and other food are common in Asian diet, it’s rarely seen that test clients are reactive to these food. We can tell that, eating frequency is not the only factor in causing food sensitivity.