Quantification of Human IgE Immunoreactive Soybean Proteins in Commercial Soy Ingredients and Products



ABSTRACT:  The objective of this study was the detection and quantification of human IgE immunoreactive soybean proteins in commercially available soy ingredients and products. Optimum dilutions of primary antibody and antigens as well as detection sensitivity were determined for the implementation of a sandwich ELISA method using plasma from soy sensitive subjects (IgE ranging from 0.35 to 98.7 IU/mL). Human IgE immunoreactivity of commercial soybean ingredients showed that the plasma of subjects with strong allergic reaction to soybean presented proportionally higher immunoreactive response. Soy protein isolate and soy protein concentrate contained less immunoreactive proteins than soy flour and grits. As expected, a hypoallergenic soybean product presented the lowest IgE immunoreactivity. Hydrolyzed and fermented soy ingredients showed negligible human IgE immunoreactivity when proteins and peptides were < 20 kDa. The IgE immunoreactivity of soymilk samples ranged from 3.4 to 68.9 ng IgE/mg extracted protein. Tofu contained about 20-fold higher IgE immunoreactivity than soymilk products (median 171 ng IgE/mg extracted protein). Furthermore, soy cheese products presented twice the IgE immunoreactivity than tofu products (median 359 ng IgE/mg protein). Meat analogues presented considerably high extracted protein concentration (median 67.9 mg/g product). The findings of the current investigation demonstrate sandwich ELISA as a reliable immunochemical method with good repeatability, sensitivity, and low detection limit to quantify IgE immunoreactive proteins in soy ingredients and products. Quantitative measurement of specific IgE is likely to become an increasingly valuable tool for soybean industry to comply with food labeling for manufacturers, thus protecting soy-sensitive consumers.