Reagent strip developed to quickly and easily detect and quantify allergens in food

Testing the strip. 1 credit

A team from Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV), Universitat de València (UV) and Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red sobre Enfermedades Raras (CIBERER) has developed a lateral flow test that reliably identifies and measures the level of allergens. food with the help of a smartphone. The study was published in the journal Biosensors.

“Food allergy or hypersensitivity is estimated to affect approximately 520 million people worldwide. These reactions are mainly caused by consuming foods containing trace amounts of allergens. Therefore, identifying and quantifying them before food is consumed is very important and this is the test we have. Universitat Politècnica de “Improved permissiveness,” says Sergi Morais, professor in València’s Department of Chemistry and researcher at the Inter-University Institute for Molecular Recognition and Technological Development (IDM).

The prototype was developed as a proof-of-concept to detect almond and peanut allergens simultaneously and validated with everyday commercial foods such as biscuits and energy bars.

Among its advantages, the researchers highlight the reliability of the assay, which includes multiple internal controls and calibrators integrated into a miniature 36-point array.

“With microarray technology, we perform 36 assays in a single step. The information obtained allows us to determine whether the result is really positive or negative. We can also quantify with high-precision traces, with built-in calibrators and a smartphone. “The allergen in food,” says professor Ángel Maquieira.

Regarding the extraction method, the UPV, UV and CIBERER team emphasize its simplicity, which means that anyone can perform it at any time.

“Current extraction methods consist of multiple steps and require advanced equipment for grinding, degreasing, extraction and purification of allergens. Therefore, the analyzes are performed in qualified laboratories. The aim is to distribute the analysis, as in the COVID-19 test. Everyone immediately without consuming a food.” we want it to be able to analyze first,” adds Sergi Morais.

The developed extraction method is based on the use of a portable grinder used to grind and filter the sample in a single step; Then, 5 mL of solution is added to remove the allergen, and after the sample is prepared, the test strip is dipped into the solution. And the result that can be read with a mobile phone is obtained in just 5 minutes.

“At an estimated cost of €1 per strip, the developed test has great commercial potential, for example for rapid on-site identification of allergens in the food industry and for measuring the potency of allergenic extracts used in allergy testing in the pharmaceutical industry.” at the Interuniversity Institute for Molecular Recognition and Technological Development (IDM) ) says Amadeo Sena, a postdoctoral researcher.

future development

Looking ahead, the UPV, UV and CIBERER team point out that, given the characteristics of the test strip, it can be easily adapted to other allergens as the group has specific antibodies for a wide variety of allergens and biomarkers.

At the Instituto Universitario de Biotecnología i Biomedicina (BIOTECMED)—Universitat de València and CIBERER.

More information:
Amadeo Sena-Torralba et al., Lateral Flow Microimmunoassay (LFµIA) for Reliable Quantification of Allergen Artifacts in Food Consumables, Biosensors (2022). DOI: 10.3390/bios12110980

Provided by the Universitat Politècnica de València

Quotation: Reactive strip (2022, 23 December), developed to detect and quantify allergens in food quickly and easily, on 23 December 2022 Retrieved from allergens.html.

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