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Allergens

Allergen Testing

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.

GLUTEN
Quantitative or semi- quantitative Lower of quantification / detection Proteins detected / Antibody (AB) raised to
Quantitative ELISA plate 10ppm lod AB reacts with the gliadin fraction from wheat, corresponding prolamins from rye and barley (100%) and in small amounts from oats
MILK
Quantitative or semi- quantitative Lower limit of quantification / detection Proteins detected / Antibody (AB) raised to
CASEIN
Quantitative ELISA plate <5ppm lod For the detection of (predominantly) bovine casein and caseinates in foods containing milk/milk products
Quantitative ELISA plate 2.5-15ppm loq Although some whey may be detectable with this test, it is intended to be used for the exclusive detection of casein
ß-LACTOGLOBULIN
Quantitative ELISA plate <7.5ppm lod For the analysis of ß-lactoglobulin (100%) in whey proteins and whey protein containing products as well as fragments of ß-lactoglobulin in hydrolysed or ß-lactoglobulin poor whey proteins
BOVINE SERUM ALBUMIN
Quantitative ELISA plate <10ppm lod For the detection of bovine serum albumin (96.9%) in foods containing milk/ milk products
NUTS / SEEDS
Quantitative or semi- quantitative Lower limit of quantification / detection Proteins detected / Antibody (AB) raised to
PEANUT
Quantitative ELISA plate <0.1ppm lod For the analysis of peanut protein (Conarachin-A)
ALMOND
Quantitative ELISA plate 2.5-25ppm loq AB raised to total almond potein
HAZELNUT
Quantitative ELISA plate 10ppm lod Hazelnut allergens
SESAME
Quantitative ELISA plate <1ppm lod Sesame storage proteins
SOYA
Quantitative or semi- quantitative Lower limit of quantification / detection Proteins detected / Antibody (AB) raised to
Quantitative ELISA plate <0.5% lod Soya proteins
HISTAMINE
Quantitative or semi- quantitative Lower limit of quantification / detection Proteins detected / Antibody (AB) raised to
Quantitative ELISA plate dependent on sample type 0.5 - 2.5 ppm lod Specific to Histamine
EGG
Quantitative or semi- quantitative Lower limit of quantification / detection Proteins detected / Antibody (AB) raised to
WHOLE EGG
Quantitative ELISA plate 2.5-15ppm loq Whole egg
EGG WHITE
Quantitative ELISA plate 5ppm lod Egg white proteins

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.

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