News story

Detection of allergens and nut materials in herbs and spices

Government Chemist team talks at Seasoning and Spices Association event about novel DNA techniques for detection of allergens and nuts

Spices at a market
Spice stall at market

Dr Malcolm Burns, Principal Scientist and Special Adviser to the Government Chemist, gave an invited presentation at the technical meeting of the Seasoning and Spices Association held at the Food and Drink Federation in London in October 2016.

This talk follows the recent publication of two peer reviewed papers describing the use of DNA approaches to help resolve two herbs and spices cases referred to the Government Chemist in 2015: paprika and cumin.

Malcolm talked about the use of novel DNA approaches for the successful identification of allergens and nut material in herbs and spices including the application of multi-spectral imaging (MSI) to this area of topical importance.

Members of the SSA were interested to learn how the role of the Government Chemist can continue to help contribute to best practice guidance in herbs and spices testing, and help industry meet their requirements for accurate analytical testing in this challenging field.

Published 7 November 2016