Food allergen analysis for processed food using a novel extraction method to eliminate harmful reagents for both ELISA and lateral-flow tests
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Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) is commonly used to determine food allergens in food products. However, a significant number of ELISAs give an erroneous result, especially when applied to highly processed food. Accordingly, an improved ELISA, which utilizes an extraction solution comprising the surfactant sodium lauryl sulfate (SDS) and reductant 2-mercaptoethanol (2-ME), has been specially developed to analyze food allergens in highly processed food by enhancing analyte protein extraction. Recently, however, the use of 2-ME has become undesirable. In the present study, a new extraction solution containing a human- and eco-friendly reductant, which is convenient to use at the food manufacturing site, has been established. Among three chemicals with different reducing properties, sodium sulfite, tris(3-hydroxypropyl)phosphine, and mercaptoethylamine sodium sulfite was selected as a 2-ME substitute. The protein extraction ability of SDS/0.1 M sodium sulfite solution was comparable to that of SDS/2-ME solution. Next, the ELISA performance for egg, milk, wheat, peanut, and buckwheat was evaluated by using model-processed foods and commercially available food products. The data showed that the SDS/0.1 M sulfite ELISA significantly correlated with the SDS/2-ME ELISA for all food allergens examined (p < 0.01), thereby establishing the validity of the SDS/0.1 M sulfite ELISA performance. Furthermore, the new SDS/0.1 M sulfite solution was investigated for its applicability to the lateral-flow (LF) test. The result demonstrated the successful analysis of food allergens in processed food, showing consistency with the SDS/0.1 M sulfite ELISA results. Accordingly, a harmonized analysis system for processed food comprising a screening LF test and a quantitative ELISA with identical extraction solution has been established. The ELISA based on the SDS/0.1 M sulfite extraction solution has now been authorized as the revised official method for food allergen analysis in Japan.
KeywordsFood allergy Food allergen Food allergen analysis ELISA Lateral-flow
The authors thank Dr. Haruki Shibata, Mr. Kenichi Aburatani, Dr. Hirotoshi Doi, and Mr. Nobuaki Takahashi (Morinaga Institute of Biological Science, Inc.) for their technical advice.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.
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