Immunoanalytics and Food Allergens
The Christian Doppler Laboratory for Rapid Test Systems for Allergenic Food Contaminants started at 1st of October 2007 at the Department IFA-Tulln, Center for Analytical Chemistry. The Mission of the laboratory is the development of rapid and easy-to-handle immunoanalytical tests for the determination of allergenic proteins in different food stuffs. The industrial partner is RomerLabs Diagnostic GmbH, a cooperation partner for many years already. First successful evaluation was after 1.5 years in May 2009. In general Christian Doppler Laboratories do have a run time for 7 years.
Allergenic proteins are examples for naturally occurring substances, which have to be avoided by the allergic consumer. The EC-directive 2003/89/EC listed in Annex IIIa potential allergens which have to be labeled and declared. The list originally contained 12 substances and is now expanded to 14, including milk, egg, fish, crustacean, peanut, nuts, soybeans, cereals, mustard, molluscs, lupine, sesame, celery and sulphites (no allergy elicitor per-se but closely related to histamine intolerance)(EC-Directive 2007/68/EC). A rapid identification of food ingredients is required already during food production to guarantee safe food products. Immuno-based test systems have to be developed, which lead to rapid qualitative and semi-quantitative results although there are no threshold levels for food allergens given. Research within the Christian Doppler Laboratory for Rapid Test Systems for Allergenic Food Contaminants comprises allergen and marker protein preparation and characterization by e.g. MS-methods. Polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies as base for the immunoassays are prepared in-house. And the development of immunoanalytical test systems (ELISA; LFD) follows to enable a rapid detection of food allergens.