Research outputs

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Main research question/goal
How can we develop an analytical strategy to more correctly double-check the food labeling of allergens (peanuts, hazelnuts, eggs and milk) that may be present in prepared foods? This is the central research question in the ALLERSENS project. European legislation requires labeling of 14 ingredients that have the potential to cause an allergic reaction. But there are a number of bottlenecks regarding allergen detection (impact of food processing, variability and inaccuracies of current methods, lack of standards, …) that currently complicate the operational policy for the government as well as the food sector.

Research approach
We identify a set of target proteins/peptides that are unique for the allergen and which remain stable during food processing. The identification of these peptides will be based on literature search as well as High Resolution Mass Spectrometry (HRMS) analysis of food matrices with the allergenic ingredients mentioned above that have undergone different processing steps under standardized and controlled circumstances in the Food Pilot. Finally we will use these unique and stable proteins/peptides in a multi-allergen LC-MS/MS method. An approach using internal standards will be used as a validated quantitative routine test.

The Federal Agency of for the Safety of the Food Chain (FASFC) will get all the results (peptides database, LC-MS/MS method, comparison with available methods). We plan to further disseminate the new analytical strategy through publication in peer-reviewed journals, and to clinical and industrial stakeholders. The involved scientific partners (CER/ILVO, who together form the National Reference Lab for allergens) will also organize a scientific symposium on this subject.
Effective start/end date1/03/1612/08/20

ID: 4257385