Environment monitoring, security and food quality control Development and in-house validation of qPCR methods for detection of allergenic ingredients in food

Food allergies have become an important health concern worldwide. Clinical manifestations of food allergies in sensitized individuals can range from minor digestive disorders and skin irritations to more severe symptoms that can even lead to life threatening situations. Reliable and sensitive methods are required to detect the presence of any intentional or unintentional allergenic ingredients in food products in order to protect consumers suffering from food allergies. These methods should be robust and standardized to provide an appropriate tool for food and catering industries, as well as for food control laboratories. 

Most of the published DNA-based methods for the detection of allergenic ingredients in food products are based on the amplification of the number of copies of the initial DNA target by PCR, which allows a high sensitivity for the developed method. The use of quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) allows in addition, the DNA amplification to be monitored while it is being produced because the signals (generally fluorescent) can be monitored as they are being generated during the amplification of the target DNA.

Analytical methods based on qPCR for the detection of allergenic ingredients in food products are being developed and in-house validated in order to evaluate its fitness-for-purpose.