Discover the new and accurate SCIEX way to enhance your routine food allergen testing

Jul 21, 2016 | Blogs, Food / Beverage | 0 comments

Food allergy is an immune-mediated, adverse reaction to an antigenic protein. Even limited exposure to an antigen can provoke a significant reaction in sensitive individuals, causing rashes, itching and swelling in the mouth, nausea, vomiting, and asthma. Additionally, food allergies are the leading cause of anaphylaxis, an acute, potentially deadly allergic reaction. The prevalence and severity of food allergies are rising, with approximately 150 million people suffering from food allergies worldwide.12 Presently, there is no cure for food allergies, and sufferers must rely on the correct labeling of foods to avoid consuming allergens. Hence, the development of sensitive and accurate analytical methods to screen for the presence of allergens in food products is necessary for the prevention of potentially life-threatening health problems for allergy sufferers.

Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) are the most commonly used tests for screening allergens. Although relatively quick and simple to perform, ELISA tests are limited in selectivity and susceptible to cross-reactivity, which can lead to false positive or false negative results. Additionally, most ELISA tests are capable of detecting only one allergen at a time, requiring multiple tests to screen for more than one allergen in a food sample. Therefore, a method that can unambiguously confirm and identify multiple allergens would be invaluable for food screening.

In our exciting solution to routine food allergen screening we have developed an LC-MS/MS method using the QTRAP® 4500 LC-MS/MS system that detects and screens 12 separate allergenic proteins simultaneously in a single injection.

The key benefits of why LC-MS/MS is the instrument of choice for food manufactures and testing facilities are:

  • Increase throughput – Detect 12 key allergens in different types of matrices at once.
  • Reduce false positive and false negative results – Enhance selectivity through peptide mass detection, reducing false results due to cross reactivity or matrix effects.
  • Improve accuracy and reliability – Detect allergens at levels as low as 10 ppm or as high as 500 ppm without worry.

Discover more about switching your allergen screening to LC-MS/MS >

In this toolkit you will access an overview brochure and a comprehensive technical note that details the method development steps and method performance in a variety of challenging natural and processed matrices.


  • R. Valenta et al.: ‘Food allergies: the basics’ Gastroenterology 148 (2015) 1120-1131
  • A. Sage: ‘Food Allergen Analysis Using LC-MS-MS’ LCGC The Column 10 (2015) 13-29

For research use only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures

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