More accurate food allergen screening method

Monday, 19 March, 2018

More accurate food allergen screening method

Accurate food allergen tests are urgently needed to help reduce the risk of food labelling errors. Traditional test methods include polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or immunoassay-based approaches (ELISA) but the complexity of food matrixes means that these methods can present accuracy problems.

Now SCIEX’s mass spectrometry (MS)-based method has received the First Action Official Method (FAOM) classification from AOAC INTERNATIONAL’s Official Methods Board (OMB).

This sensitive method for analysing food allergens uses liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) to analyse a range of food products (both raw and baked goods) by detecting several unique signature peptides that are specific to each allergen.

The Allergen Screening method can detect allergenic peptides from five of the major classes of allergenic foods at a detection limit of 10 ppm in a variety of food matrices. Plus, with increased throughput, the ability to identify multiple key allergens at once from a number of different food types and advanced peptide signature detection, it greatly reduces the chance of false negative and false positive results.

SCIEX’s method uses the QTRAP 4500 LC-MS/MS System for high-throughput trace screening and quantitation of allergens. LC-MS/MS enables comprehensive sample data analysis, claiming to make food allergen analysis more accurate and, ultimately, safer for consumers.

Following the FOAM classification, AOAC will initiate a two-year assessment of SCIEX’s method. If the method’s performance satisfies the review panels, the AOAC will make a recommendation to the OMB for a Final Action Method status. This final status would raise the method’s profile as a chemical analysis process, leading to its further adoption worldwide and an increase in consumer reliability on food allergen information.

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