SCIEX has announced that its sensitive method for analysing food allergens has received the First Action Official Method (FAOM) classification from AOAC International’s Official Methods Board (OMB). Nearly 150 million people worldwide suffer from a food allergy and are allergic to more than one food. Accurate food allergen tests are urgently needed, to help reduce the risk of food labelling errors. The SCIEX method is the first mass spectrometry (MS)-based method to receive FAOM classification for allergen screening.
The use of MS instead of more traditional methods, such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or immunoassay-based approaches, gives greater confidence for detecting allergens in complex food samples. The SCIEX method for allergen screening uses liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) to analyse a range of food products (both raw and baked goods) by detecting several unique signature peptides that are specific to each allergen. Presently, this method can detect allergenic peptides from five of the major classes of allergenic foods at a detection limit of 10 ppm in a variety of food matrices. Plus, with increased throughput, the ability to identify multiple key allergens at once from a number of different food types, and advanced peptide signature detection, it reduces the chance of false negative and false positive results.
Following the FAOM classification, AOAC International will initiate a two-year assessment of the SCIEX method. If the method’s performance satisfies the review panels, AOAC will make a recommendation to the OMB for a Final Action Method status. This final status would raise the method’s profile as a chemical analysis process, leading to its further adoption worldwide.