AGROLAB LUFA in Kiel has introduced a new ELISA test for allergen detection of a possible Brazil nut content in food.
Allergen labelling of packaged food is mandatory in the EU. Information on possible allergens must also be kept up to date for consumers and guests in the case of unpacked goods and in the catering trade. The potential presence of the allergens in question must be indicated either in the list of ingredients or in the name of the food. These ingredients are listed in Annex II of the Food Information Regulation (EU) Nr. 1169/2011, where "nuts" are listed under point 8:
"8. Nuts, namely: almonds (Amygdalus communis L.), hazelnuts (Corylus avellana), walnuts (Juglans regia), cashews (Anacardium occidentale), pecan nuts (Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch), Brazil nuts (Bertholletia excelsa), pistachio nuts (Pistacia vera), macadamia or Queensland nuts (Macadamia ternifolia), and products thereof, except for nuts used for making alcoholic distillates including ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin;"
As there is no combination test for all nuts using one ELISA assay, a separate specific test must be available for each nut species listed and validated with regard to possible cross-sensitivities. Unfortunately, there is no 100% specificity in the immunological methods.
Therefore, our analysts have selected an ELISA from the range of commercial test kits that has only a few cross-sensitivities to other plants. This means that a possible Brazil nut content in a sample can be detected and quantified quickly and reliably.
Our accredited method for the qualitative detection and quantitative determination of the Brazil nut content in food has been confirmed in several laboratory suitability tests. The detection sensitivity is 1 ppm (1 mg/kg).
YOUR PLUS: The qualitative test is also suitable for checking swab samples and rinsing fluids from food-contact surfaces.
Author: Dr. Frank Mörsberger