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Development of a liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method using capillary liquid chromatography and nanoelectrospray ionization-quadrupole time-of-flight hybrid mass spectrometer for the detection of milk allergens.

Weber D., Raymond P., Ben-Rejeb S., Lau B.

Journal of agricultural and food chemistry (2006), 54, 5, 1604--10 DOI: 10.1021/jf052464s


Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) analysis of the tryptic digest of a cleaned-up food matrix extract was used for the detection of milk allergens. The emphasis of this study was on casein, which is the most abundant milk protein and is also considered the most allergenic. A sample cleanup method was developed using an ion exchange column and centriprep device. Cookies spiked with milk powder from 0 to 1250 ppm were extracted, cleaned up, and either digested directly by trypsin or further cleaned up by gel electrophoresis before digestion. The peptide mixture was analyzed on a capillary LC-quadrupole time-of-flight system. Two marker peptides from αS1-casein were identified and used for prescreening. The MS/MS data from the mass spectrometry system were processed with Masslynx v4.0 and submitted for database search using either ProteinLynx Global Server or Mascot for protein identification. The LC-MS/MS method, using casein enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay as a reference, was tested on the cookie matrix and was extended to other sample matrices. There were good agreements between the two. This LC-MS/MS method provides a valuable confirmatory method for the presence of casein. It also allows the simultaneous detection of other milk allergens.