In response to a growing demand from the food industry US company Genetic ID has developed a series of tests to detect allergens in food products.
According to the company, the new 'Quick-Check Allergen Test Series' is capable of detecting the presence of as little as one or two allergen marker-molecules within the DNA found in a food sample.
The presence of potential food allergens in food products, particularly in complex multi-ingredient foods, is a very real concern for food manufacturers today. Compounded by rapidly increasing numbers of consumers suffering from food allergies.
Genetic ID's Quick-Check Allergen Test Series is highly sensitive, capable of detecting minute traces of an allergenic substance, even in the presence of highly complex food matrices, said the company.
In addition, the test series is able to detect the major allergens listed for the United States, Canada, Japan and Europe - peanuts, soy, wheat, tree nuts, such as almonds and hazelnut, seafood, sesame and finally, buckwheat.
The company claims that the test series can detect all classes of seafood, including fresh and salt-water fish, clams, oysters, muscles, shrimp, and lobster. In addition, the tests are capable of specifically determining the presence of any of the seafood classes listed.
According to Genetic ID, these DNA-based tests are highly accurate and sensitive because DNA is less likely to be broken down by food processing and remains detectable.
"With our expertise in the use of DNA-based, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technology to detect genetically modified ingredients, it was a natural progression to apply this technology to allergen detection," said Genetic ID president Bill Thompson.