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Workshop - An analytical roadmap for detecting allergens

Workshop providing advice, guidance and best practice on the application of complementary analytical techniques for the detection of allergens in spices

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The Government Chemist team hosted a workshop at LGC on 28 February 2018, titled ‘An analytical roadmap for detecting allergens’.

Food allergens represent a clear threat to the health and well-being of those affected and place an increasing pressure on food producers and the regulatory bodies which govern them.

During 2015, a number of spice products were the subject of a recall owing to the suspected unlabelled presence of almond. Detailed analyses by the Government Chemist team, using a multidisciplinary approach (comprising mass spectrometry, DNA-based methods and ELISA), conclusively demonstrated that the presence of almond (Prunus dulcis) could be discounted in favour of a similar species, Prunus mahaleb. The results illustrate the limitations of adopting single methods, and highlight that more than one analytical approach to detect food allergens can be required. Based on this case study, the workshop focused on providing advice, guidance and best practice on the application of a range of complementary analytical techniques for the detection of allergens in spices.

The workshop was funded by Defra, FSA, FSS and BEIS under the Joint Knowledge Transfer Framework for Food Standards and Food Safety Analysis.

The documents in this section include all of the workshop presentations, together with a copy of an analytical roadmap that can be used for the detection of future allergen/spice combinations.

Allergens in spices workshop - an introduction

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FSA Perspective on Food Allergy

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Industry approach to dealing with allergens

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Allergens in spices workshop - ELISA Assays

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Mass spectrometry - identification of protein allergen contaminants

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Spice authenticity – DNA-based approaches for the detection of adulterating nut material

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Analytical Roadmap, Reporting, Interpretation

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Roadmap for the determination of Allergens in Spices

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Working instruction for the identification of DNA from species of the Prunus genus in samples of herbs and spices

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Published 14 November 2019