For the majority of the general public, the consumption of food is beneficial and harmless. Nonetheless, food allergies are highly dangerous for consumers, because they are caused by errant
immune reactions, which are usually triggered by proteins. Indeed,
they may cause life-threatening reactions in food-allergic subjects and dramatically restrict the quality of life. Scientists estimate that approximately
2–3% of adults and 6–8% of children suffer from
Allergens in Food Must Be Labeled
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says
undeclared allergens cause the majority of recalls.
The “Big 8” foods account for 90% of allergic reactions: milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree
nuts, peanuts, wheat and soybeans.
Food labels must identify whether a product contains any of these
major food allergens. Since products not specifically formulated with
these allergenic ingredients may still contain traces of them as a
result of cross-contamination during processing—for example, as a
result of inadequate cleaning during changeover of equipment—food
and beverage manufacturers and ingredient suppliers must therefore
test for the presence of these allergens in their products.
Why a Food Business Needs a Food Allergen Management Plan
Most production lines process more than one item. This may
result in unintended contamination with allergens. The only certain
way to avoid a recall for mislabeling is testing as low as possible for
any indication of allergen residue. Current regulations have not es-
tablished a threshold for defining allergen residue levels. Under these
circumstances, processors are advised to use test methods that are
highly sensitive as a best practice to avoid a recall for mislabeling.
ELISA Systems® kits have a limit of detection (LOD) that ranges
from 0.1 to 1.0 ppm targeted protein. According to Fred Weber, president of Weber Scientific, “The ELISA Systems’ Lateral Flow Device
[LFD] has been thoroughly validated. Additionally, they offer superior
benefits over other kits. They are available for either environmental
or food residue in a single kit configuration, and with our competitive
custom pricing, they are also the most affordable test available.”
The AllergenControl™ residue LFD features polyclonal antibodies
directed against targeted proteins configured in both sandwich and
competitive formats. To operate the kit, the sample is first subjected
to a short extraction step. The sample extract is then directly applied
to the LFD sample port, where it is allowed to migrate across the
reagent zone, thus enabling visualization of the sandwich test line
(T) and competitive test line (0) results. In addition, the reagent zone
includes a procedural control line (C) to minimize the potential for
The reagent zone contains three distinct print lines that must be considered
together when interpreting the test lines.
The T will become clearly visible at the
LOD value defined for the kit and continue to strengthen in intensity with increasing target analyte concentration up to
the point where it will then start to fade
and eventually disappear at high analyte
levels. The 0 will be intense if the sample
is negative for the target analyte and
fade with increasing amounts of analyte,
disappearing completely at high analyte
levels before the T does. This feature allows the operator to distinguish samples
with no or low levels of target analyte
from those with high levels. The C also
enables detection of target analyte that is
highly hydrolyzed and poorly detected by
the T. Failure of the C to appear denotes
an invalid test, requiring repeat testing.
• Verified to avoid cross-reactivity
• LOD of 1.0 µg protein/g
• Sample extraction time: 1– 15 minutes
• Test operation time: 15 minutes
Why ELISA Systems Kits Are Special
Avoid waste: Kits are available for ei-
ther environmental surface tests or food
product tests. Plus, kits are available indi-
vidually. Buy only what you need.
Doesn’t need refrigeration: Store at 36
°F–77 °F ( 2 °C– 25 °C).
Simple to use: No reconstitution of
reagents; simply extract and run.
Added security of the C to prevent
false negatives: Some LFDs can give false
negatives when high levels of food allergen are present in the sample.
Wide range of kits available for specificity: For example, you can choose from
total milk, casein or beta-lactoglobulin
residue. Overall, 22 kits are available.
Samples are tested against supplied
Heat-stable protein allergens are detected.
ELISA Systems products are distributed
by Weber Scientific with free samples
AllergenControl™ Detection Kits
Have Features Found
Control Line (C)
Negative Low Medium High