Food Allergy is a rapidly growing area of consumer concern and at present, the only way to prevent food allergies is to avoid foods that trigger reactions. Legislation has been implemented in many countries that requires the presence of the major food allergens to be labelled when included as ingredients. Sensitive detection methods are required in order for food manufacturers and regulatory laboratories to ensure accurate labelling and to control cross-contamination by these food antigens. This work describes the development of a commercially-available sandwich-ELISA kit for the detection of crustaceans in food, based on the major heat-stable shellfish allergen, tropomyosin. The ELISA takes less than two hours to perform, including the food extraction, and has a detection limit of 1ppm crustacean, without detectable cross- reactivity with fish or mammalian meat. The use of MALDI-TOF MS to identify, characterise and confirm the presence of allergens in food is also described in the context of prawn tropomyosin and a meat- speciation ELISA kit.
Heidi R., Fuller.
Dr. Heidi R. Fuller obtained a degree in Biomolecular Science at the University of Wales, Bangor, before going on to complete a PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Wales, Glyndwr. She is currently a postdoctoral research scientist at the Wolfson Centre for Inherited Neuromusclar Disease, RJAH Orthopaedic Hospital, Oswestry.