If you want to know about real potential dangers that can arise from food products, allergens are front and center. With the obligation to label allergens, producers and retailers are also responsible for ensuring that even the unintentional presence of allergens is either ruled out or labelled appropriately.
But which allergens are subject to mandatory labeling and which allergens are actually present in the company? So that you know what you are talking about, we first check your inventory. Then it's a matter of defining the recipes.
14 Allergens (according to LMIV)
The 14 most important triggers of allergies and food intolerances are currently listed below:
- Cereals containing gluten (e.g. wheat, rye, barley, oats, spelt, etc.).
- crustaceans, eggs
- Fish, peanuts, soy
- Milk and lactose
- Nuts (tree nuts)
- Celery, mustard, sesame seeds
- Sulfur dioxide and sulfites (> 10 mg/kg or > 10 ml/l)
- Lupine, molluscs
Allergen identification using real time PCR:
Allergens are indentified indirectly by establishing the DNA of the allergenic target organism. For example, if a sample indicates the presence of celery DNA, then it is reasonable to expect the sample to contain the allergenic substances pertaining to celery. DNA itself is not allergenic.
This method is advantageous in many cases, as numerous allergenic plants contain various allergenic substances which change during production and are therefore no longer identifiable. DNA is extremely stable and can undergo many processes unaltered.
Allergen identification using ELISA
ELISA is a highly specific assay based on antibody reactions. The ELISA method tests a sample for specific allergenic proteins. As a quantitative method, it is ideally suited to ascertaining the gluten content of gluten-free products, for example. This is significant, as there are clearly delineated guidelines regarding gluten, which is not the case for other allergens.
ELISA is superior to PCR in terms of testing for “hen’s egg protein” as albumen contains very little DNA in relation to egg proteins. The ELISA test is considerably more reliable than PCR in this case.