Detecting allergens by protein profiling
A new member–funded research project is exploring the development and exploitation of mass spectrometry–based methods for quantifying a range of food and drink allergens. It includes those in complex, ‘difficult to work with’ matrices. This will give industry even better control of the specific ingredients that cause serious adverse reactions in some people.
‘Fingerprinting’ of foods
Mass spectrometry (MS) is widely used in pharmaceutical and food applications, which in some cases involves complex matrices. Proteins and their peptide derivatives are responsible for food functionality, nutritional properties (e.g. satiety), and food structure, as well as food allergies. The MS characteristics of complex matrices can also be used for ‘fingerprinting’ of foods. This approach could lead to reliable food safety assurance, food fraud control, enhanced product development and efficient nutritional applications.
This project will develop liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry confirmatory methods for food allergen testing and the identification of the allergen source. It will also look at multi–allergen testing methods, protocols for handling the difficult matrices that are sometimes involved, and the detection and quantification of selected peptides and proteins.