Food chemistry (2016), 194, 201--11 DOI: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2015.07.043
Proteins unique to peanuts and various tree nuts have been extracted, subjected to trypsin digestion and analysis by liquid chromatography/quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry, in order to find highly conserved peptides that can be used as markers to detect peanuts and tree nuts in food. The marker peptide sequences chosen were those found to be present in both native (unroasted) and thermally processed (roasted) forms of peanuts and tree nuts. Each peptide was selected by assuring its presence in food that was processed or unprocessed, its abundance for sensitivity, sequence size, and uniqueness for peanut and each specific variety of tree nut. At least two peptides were selected to represent peanut, almond, pecan, cashew, walnut, hazelnut, pine nut, Brazil nut, macadamia nut, pistachio nut, chestnut and coconut; to determine the presence of trace levels of peanut and tree nuts in food by a novel multiplexed LC-MS method.