A Voluntary Labeling of Foods for Allergens is Good, a Safe Detection Method is Better.

13 Aug 2014
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To fulfill its responsibility towards the consumer, BIOTECON Diagnostics decided to develop high-quality detection kits for food allergens. Therewith, the well-known and respected spectrum of foodproof® real-time PCR kits is extended by another interesting product division.

The first allergen kits that will be launched by the company from Potsdam, Germany, are the foodproof® Celery Detection Kit and the foodproof® Gluten Detection Kit. More allergen kits for the detection of soy, peanut and hazelnut will follow soon. In combination with the foodproof® Sample Preparation Kit III for the extraction of plant DNA, this kits allows simple and safe detection of allergens in all kind of foods. Depending on the source of literature the prevalence of food allergies is between 2 – 4 % for adults and 4 -8 % for children.

The foodproof® Sample Preparation Kit III allows the extraction of highly purified DNA even from complex foods or processed matrices. To validate the foodproof® Allergen Detection Kits final products, raw materials and swab samples have been successfully tested. The kit cannot be only used for foods, finished products and raw materials, but also for cleaning validations. In addition, BIOTECON Diagnostics has developed a standardized reference material, Allergen RM 800, to create a standard curve for exact quantification.

More allergen kits for the detection of mustard, sesame, lupine and crustacean will be developed next year. Also it is planned to develop multiplex kits, to detect up to three different allergen-parameters within one reaction.

Food allergens became more important, because the frequency in the population has grown in the last decades. The reasons are still not totally clear; often it is credited to changing environmental influences and diets. Even the smallest amounts of allergens can cause severe allergic reactions up to life-threatening symptoms. For the consumer, the only protection is avoidance. According to EU-regulation 2007/68/EG 14, different allergenic ingredients have to be labeled in Europe on the products. Until now there is no threshold value in Europe or elsewhere. Therefore, the zero tolerance rule applies, even foods that only contain traces of allergens have to be labeled accordingly.

Dr. Kornelia Berghof-Jäger, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Germany-based corporation BIOTECON Diagnostics therefore announced that „the expansion of our product portfolio by test kits for the detection of food allergens is a consequent continuation of our strategy to cover all aspects of food safety diagnostics by molecular methods.“

“The new product line allows the users of our foodproof® system to enter new markets with the existing laboratory equipment without any additional financial investments.” emphasizes Alois Schneiderbauer, Chief Business Officer (CBO) of BIOTECON Diagnostics stated.

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