Identification of hidden allergens within foods


Department of Biochemistry Institute of Food Research Norwich Research Park Colney Norwich NR4 7UA UK


The problem of the detection of “hidden” allergens in food is a major concern for both the industry and consumers at present. The production of specific antibodies against two such food components, peanut and sesame, is described. Immunoassays are presently the method of choice for detection and identification of a wide range of food components, and ELISAs (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays) for both peanut and sesame have been set up. Who might use such assays for maximum benefit, and in what format they should be provided, are key questions for food analysts, and the issues are discussed.