Australian institutes develop new method for detecting allergens

The primary methods for detecting each of the major food allergens are based on the ELISA technique, yet there are a number of scenarios in which ELISA may not produce accurate or reproducible results. To address this issue, the National Measurement Institute (NMI) and the James Cook University in Australia have collaborated to develop a new method based on mass spectrometry.

Mass spectroscopy techniques make it possible to quantify known materials in order to identify unknown compounds within a sample. In media releases relating to this latest development, the new method has been described as far more accurate than current world leading techniques. It is hoped that better detection methods will help reduce the number of allergen-related product recalls, which can be costly to food manufacturers and lead to consumer mistrust of food labels.

Dr Koeberl from NMI was one of the lead researchers developing the method. She will be delivering a presentation on Mass Spectrometry for Allergens at the 49th Annual AIFST Convention in Brisbane from 27-28 June 2016.

To find out more about the AIFST convention, go to the website.