08/05/2013

A Breakthrough in Food Allergen Testing



Romer Labs® and ifp Institut für Produktqualität announced the launch of their new AgraQuant® F.A.S.T. Allergen ELISA Test Kits with the fastest time-to-result currently available on the market for the detection of allergens in food, rinse waters and environmental swabs. The newly developed, state-of-the-art capsule technology developed by ifp cuts down extraction to a minimum of only 1 minute. Furthermore, the same extract can be used for testing different allergens with the AgraQuant® F.A.S.T. line.

"With the development of the new and unique extraction capsule technology, we have achieved a major breakthrough in food allergen detection. It not only cuts down the extraction time to an unprecedented minimum, it also increases lab productivity, as the same extract can be used for different allergens", comments Elisabeth Halbmayr-Jech, Product Manager at Romer Labs®. The AgraQuant® F.A.S.T. supports food producers and processors in meeting the increasing number of restrictive government regulations, offering significant advantages at the same time: costs are saved as products can be released faster, easier handling reduces sources of errors and a shelf life of 12 months improves order planning.

"Intensive validation studies have shown very low detection limits of allergens for a variety of commodities. The new AgraQuant® F.A.S.T. will enable customers to save time and avoid costly recalls with accurate and reliable results", state Dr. Wolfgang Weber, General Manager, and Dr. Martin Röder, Head of Allergen Testing at ifp.

With the collaboration agreement for the AgraQuant® F.A.S.T line, ifp and Romer Labs® have further enhanced their ongoing successful cooperation. The AgraQuant® F.A.S.T. is available for the detection of almond, casein, egg, hazelnut, macademia nut and peanut, the product portfolio will be continuously expanded with new test kits over the next months.

About Food Allergies

A food allergy is typically an immune system response to a protein present in food that the body mistakenly believes is harmful. Common food allergens are gluten containing cereals, crustaceans, eggs, fish, peanuts, soybeans, lupines, nuts, milk, mustard, sesame, celery, and molluscs. Food allergies affect 1-3% of the whole population and 5-8% of children. Even minor exposure to a food allergen in the milligram range can cause symptoms from mild skin rashes to a fatal anaphylactic shock.

Cross contamination during the production process occurs often, so that residues of food allergens from different products may be present. An extremely important part of allergen management and control practices is the documentation of every aspect of the food manufacturing process, but documentation cannot be relied upon alone without audits, inspections and testing to demonstrate that the control systems are working. Any agreed specifications require validation and this has to include manufacturing, cleaning and analytical testing. Analyzing a final food product in a quality control lab or governmental lab is using quantitative methods like ELISAs.

Source: ifp Institut für Produktqualität GmbH