Food Allergens

It is estimated that one in three of the total UK population (almost 20 million) will develop an allergy at some point in their lives (Royal College of Physicians June 03). Potential causes include food, insect bites, drugs and latex. A food allergy is an immune system response to a food that the body mistakenly believes is harmful. Once the immune system decides that a particular food is harmful, it creates specific antibodies to it.

The next time the individual eats that food, the immune system releases massive amounts of chemicals, including histamine, in order to protect the body. These chemicals trigger a cascade of allergic symptoms that can affect the respiratory system, gastrointestinal tract, skin, or cardiovascular system.

The most common causes (accounting for >90%) of food allergies are:
Peanut and nut, milk, eggs, seeds (such as sesame) fish, shellfish, soy and wheat.

Milk

Analytical Target

UKAS Accredited

Lower Limit of Quantification

Upper Limit

of Quantification

LOQ

units

Sample Size

Quantitative Enzyme Linked Immuno-Sorbent Assay (ELISA) methods
MILK
Casein Casein

NO

2.5ppm

67.5ppm

ppm Casein

50g

b-lactoglobulin b-lactoglobulin in whey proteins

NO

10ppb

400ppb

ppm b-lactoglobulin

50g

Lactose See HPLC methods
Nuts & Seeds

Analytical Target

UKAS Accredited

Lower Limit of Quantification

Upper Limit

of Quantification

LOQ

units

Sample Size

Quantitative Enzyme Linked Immuno-Sorbent Assay (ELISA) methods
NUTS AND SEEDS
Peanut Conarachin-A

YES

1ppm

20ppm

ppm nut

50g

Almond Almond protein

YES

2.5ppm

20ppm

ppm nut

50g

Hazelnut Hazelnut protein

NO

2.5ppm

20ppm

ppm nut

50g

Macadamia Macadamia protein

NO

1.0ppm

27ppm

ppm nut

50g

Pistachio Pistachio protein.  Kit cross reacts with cashew

NO

1.0ppm

25ppm

ppm protein

50g

Walnut Walnut protein

NO

2ppm

50ppm

ppm nut

50g

Cashew Cashew protein

NO

2ppm

50ppm

ppm nut

50g

Sesame Sesame storage protein allergens

NO

0.5ppm

5ppm

ppm protein

50g

Lupin Lupin flour proteins

NO

1ppm

27ppm

ppm Lupin

50g

Mustard White (yellow), black & brown mustard seed proteins

Kit cross reacts with rapeseed

NO

1ppm

10ppm

ppm protein

50g

Gluten, Egg & Soya

Analytical Target

UKAS Accredited

Lower Limit of Quantification

Upper Limit

of Quantification

LOQ

units

Sample Size

Quantitative Enzyme Linked Immuno-Sorbent Assay (ELISA) methods
Gluten R5 antibody / Mendez cocktail ELISA for quantitative analysis of prolamins from wheat (gliadins), rye (secalin)and barley (hordein)

YES

5ppm

80ppm

ppm gluten

50g

Gluten: Recommended Approach for highly processed (hydrolysed) products e.g. Soya sauce Competitive R5 antibody ELISA for quantitative analysis of peptide fragments of prolamins from wheat (gliadins), rye (secalin) and barley (hordein)

NO

5ppm

135ppm

ppm gliadin

50g

Egg Egg White protein

YES

0.5ppm

10ppm

ppm protein

50g

Soya Soya protein

YES

2.5ppm 

25ppm

ppm protein

50g

Low Level Lactose & Sulphur Dioxide
Analytical Target

UKAS Accredited

Lower Limit of Quantification

Upper Limit of Quantification

LOQ units

Sample Size

Low Level Lactose Lactose is determined by ion-exchange chromatography with specific electrochemical detection.

NO

Limit Of Detection = 50ppm

50g

Sulphur Dioxide / Sulphite Sulphur dioxide is determined by a procedure based on the modified Monier-Williams method -distillation of SO2 into a hydrogen peroxide trapping solution. This is followed by highly specific determination of the sulphate produced using ion chromatography (i.e. NOT TITRATION which is less specific).

YES

Limit Of Detection = 2mg/Kg

50g

Wheat DNA

Analytical Target

UKAS Accredited

Lower Limit of Quantification

Upper Limit

of Quantification

LOQ

units

Sample Size

WHEAT Wheat DNA detection utilising Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Analysis

NO

Limit Of Detection = Approx 10ppm

50g

Nut Allergy – A Case Study

The Challenge
Our client had received reports that a consumer known to have a severe peanut allergy, had been hospitalised following an anaphylactic reaction. The food item implicated as the cause of the attack, was that of our client. Immediate testing was required to verify the presence or absence of peanut proteins in the food samples concerned.

The Solution
Samples were immediately delivered to Premier Analytical Services. In line with the customer’s immediate concerns a qualitative test for peanut protein was conducted. Some five hours later, when all samples but one tested negative for the presence of peanut proteins, additional samples relevant to the one which had already tested positive were submitted for further investigation using quantitative techniques.

The Result
The evidence provided by Premier Analytical Services enabled our client to identify the source of the peanut contamination. The supplier involved addressed the problem and is continuing to submit samples for testing to ensure products remain peanut free. On this occasion a product recall was not necessitated but labelling modifications were carried out.

The Secret
Premier Analytical Services has remained abreast of emerging tests and methodologies. We have been able to respond rapidly and professionally to the immediate needs of our clients by having the peanut protein detection kits set-up and fully validated.

Allergen Testing

To discover more on Anaphylaxis please click below.

Food Allergens

It is estimated that one in three of the total UK population (almost 20 million) will develop an allergy at some point in their lives (Royal College of Physicians June 03). Potential causes include food, insect bites, drugs and latex. A food allergy is an immune system response to a food that the body mistakenly believes is harmful. Once the immune system decides that a particular food is harmful, it creates specific antibodies to it.

The next time the individual eats that food, the immune system releases massive amounts of chemicals, including histamine, in order to protect the body. These chemicals trigger a cascade of allergic symptoms that can affect the respiratory system, gastrointestinal tract, skin, or cardiovascular system.

The most common causes (accounting for >90%) of food allergies are:
Peanut and nut, milk, eggs, seeds (such as sesame) fish, shellfish, soy and wheat.

Milk

Analytical Target

UKAS Accredited

Lower Limit of Quantification

Upper Limit

of Quantification

LOQ

units

Sample Size

Quantitative Enzyme Linked Immuno-Sorbent Assay (ELISA) methods
MILK
Casein Casein

NO

2.5ppm

67.5ppm

ppm Casein

50g

b-lactoglobulin b-lactoglobulin in whey proteins

NO

10ppb

400ppb

ppm b-lactoglobulin

50g

Lactose See HPLC methods
Nuts & Seeds

Analytical Target

UKAS Accredited

Lower Limit of Quantification

Upper Limit

of Quantification

LOQ

units

Sample Size

Quantitative Enzyme Linked Immuno-Sorbent Assay (ELISA) methods
NUTS AND SEEDS
Peanut Conarachin-A

YES

1ppm

20ppm

ppm nut

50g

Almond Almond protein

YES

2.5ppm

20ppm

ppm nut

50g

Hazelnut Hazelnut protein

NO

2.5ppm

20ppm

ppm nut

50g

Macadamia Macadamia protein

NO

1.0ppm

27ppm

ppm nut

50g

Pistachio Pistachio protein.  Kit cross reacts with cashew

NO

1.0ppm

25ppm

ppm protein

50g

Walnut Walnut protein

NO

2ppm

50ppm

ppm nut

50g

Cashew Cashew protein

NO

2ppm

50ppm

ppm nut

50g

Sesame Sesame storage protein allergens

NO

0.5ppm

5ppm

ppm protein

50g

Lupin Lupin flour proteins

NO

1ppm

27ppm

ppm Lupin

50g

Mustard White (yellow), black & brown mustard seed proteins

Kit cross reacts with rapeseed

NO

1ppm

10ppm

ppm protein

50g

Gluten, Egg & Soya

Analytical Target

UKAS Accredited

Lower Limit of Quantification

Upper Limit

of Quantification

LOQ

units

Sample Size

Quantitative Enzyme Linked Immuno-Sorbent Assay (ELISA) methods
Gluten R5 antibody / Mendez cocktail ELISA for quantitative analysis of prolamins from wheat (gliadins), rye (secalin)and barley (hordein)

YES

5ppm

80ppm

ppm gluten

50g

Gluten: Recommended Approach for highly processed (hydrolysed) products e.g. Soya sauce Competitive R5 antibody ELISA for quantitative analysis of peptide fragments of prolamins from wheat (gliadins), rye (secalin) and barley (hordein)

NO

5ppm

135ppm

ppm gliadin

50g

Egg Egg White protein

YES

0.5ppm

10ppm

ppm protein

50g

Soya Soya protein

YES

2.5ppm 

25ppm

ppm protein

50g

Low Level Lactose & Sulphur Dioxide
Analytical Target

UKAS Accredited

Lower Limit of Quantification

Upper Limit of Quantification

LOQ units

Sample Size

Low Level Lactose Lactose is determined by ion-exchange chromatography with specific electrochemical detection.

NO

Limit Of Detection = 50ppm

50g

Sulphur Dioxide / Sulphite Sulphur dioxide is determined by a procedure based on the modified Monier-Williams method -distillation of SO2 into a hydrogen peroxide trapping solution. This is followed by highly specific determination of the sulphate produced using ion chromatography (i.e. NOT TITRATION which is less specific).

YES

Limit Of Detection = 2mg/Kg

50g

Wheat DNA

Analytical Target

UKAS Accredited

Lower Limit of Quantification

Upper Limit

of Quantification

LOQ

units

Sample Size

WHEAT Wheat DNA detection utilising Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Analysis

NO

Limit Of Detection = Approx 10ppm

50g

Nut Allergy – A Case Study

The Challenge
Our client had received reports that a consumer known to have a severe peanut allergy, had been hospitalised following an anaphylactic reaction. The food item implicated as the cause of the attack, was that of our client. Immediate testing was required to verify the presence or absence of peanut proteins in the food samples concerned.

The Solution
Samples were immediately delivered to Premier Analytical Services. In line with the customer’s immediate concerns a qualitative test for peanut protein was conducted. Some five hours later, when all samples but one tested negative for the presence of peanut proteins, additional samples relevant to the one which had already tested positive were submitted for further investigation using quantitative techniques.

The Result
The evidence provided by Premier Analytical Services enabled our client to identify the source of the peanut contamination. The supplier involved addressed the problem and is continuing to submit samples for testing to ensure products remain peanut free. On this occasion a product recall was not necessitated but labelling modifications were carried out.

The Secret
Premier Analytical Services has remained abreast of emerging tests and methodologies. We have been able to respond rapidly and professionally to the immediate needs of our clients by having the peanut protein detection kits set-up and fully validated.

Allergen Testing

To discover more on Anaphylaxis please click below.