First quantitative immunoassay for major celery allergen has been developed | Sponsored |
Celery remains one of the top regulated allergens globally, including within the EU & UK. For other top regulated food allergens, there are widely available quantitative immunoassays, including ELISAs, the gold standard for food allergen detection. Development of protein-based assays for celery (and indeed many other foods) is complex and several factors can hamper their suitability for certain food analysis. A major factor is the potential for cross-reactivity with highly conserved proteins across related species. InBio has developed specific immunoassays for a major celery allergen utilising purified monoclonal antibodies which show excellent specificity and no cross-reactivity to the majority of related foods.
Until now there have been no specific immunoassays available for celery allergens, with current approaches relying on DNA-based methods such as real-time PCR (RT-PCR). RT-PCR, although a useful method for determining potential presence of celery within a sample, cannot confirm the presence of the clinically relevant allergenic proteins from celery. Therefore, results generated cannot reliably be used to inform quantitative risk assessments, forcing companies and risk assessors to take a more binary approach, potentially resulting in unnecessary costly product withdrawals/recalls from the market. This may be prevented if the level of the allergenic protein, analysed by specific protein-based methods such as immunoassay, is determined to be below widely accepted actions levels (based on reference doses) and thus being below the level at which the food may present a public health risk.
The use of quantitative immunoassays can also assist with preventive approaches and decisions around precautionary allergen labelling. They should be considered as an essential tool in an effective food safety strategy, right from raw ingredient checks, equipment cleaning validations, through to final product testing.
InBio’s MARIA® For Foods immunoassay platform allows for quantification of multiple allergens from one sample, while having higher sensitivity and accuracy than traditional ELISA, with multiple applications in product development & throughout supply chains. Utilising its unique multiplex capability, the screening of allergen content of raw ingredients from suppliers can be performed to verify content claims and to complement a robust audit. This is of particular importance for food intended to carry ‘free-from’ claims.
As highlighted by recent international positions, advances in analytical approaches are essential to improve food safety, risk communication and the provision of safe food to individuals with food allergies. InBio is actively filling crucial analytical gaps.