Unintended presence of milk in food products is one of the most common causes for food recalls. A new, rapid LC-MS method to measure milk allergens has been developed, aiming to improve the performance of routine testing of milk at trace levels.
Within a testing time of 2 hours, the new method is said to enable detection to 1ppm and quantification to 2ppm of milk allergens in raw dough and croissants (as an example matrix for baked goods) and across a range of dairy products including milk, yoghurt and cheese. It also enables the detection of caprine dairy in bovine dairy products.
The authors note that, while these initial results are promising, more baked goods should be tested to further evaluate the performance of the method in other products. They also concede that time needed for sample transport to a laboratory and instrument cost are disadvantages of this method when compared with portable detection methods such as ELISA-based analyses that can be carried out in a production facility.
If these aspects are addressed, the authors believe the LC-MS method approach can be adapted for other allergens and may help to substantially improve the accuracy of food allergen labelling.
Reference: Nelis JLD, et al. Safe food through better labelling; a robust method for the rapid determination of caprine and bovine milk allergens. Food Chem. 2023 Aug 15;417:135885. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2023.135885. Available with Open Access.