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Croote, D., Quake, S.R. Food allergen detection by mass spectrometry: the role of systems biology. npj Syst Biol Appl. 2016 Sep 29; 2:16022.

Allergen Targets

Tree nuts

Food Matrix


Assessing hazelnut allergens by protein- and DNA-based approaches: LC-MS/MS, ELISA and real-time PCR

Costa J., Ansari P., Mafra I., Oliveira M., Baumgartner S.

Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry (2014), 406, 11, 2581--2590 DOI: 10.1007/s00216-014-7679-x


Hazelnut (Corylus avellana L.) is responsible for a significant part of the allergies related to nuts. Still, it is a very much appreciated nut and as consequence is widely used in all types of processed foods, such as chocolates. Correct food labelling is currently the most effective means of preventing the consumption of allergenic ingredients, namely hazelnut, by the sensitised/allergic individuals. Thus, to verify labelling compliance and to ensure allergic patient protection, the development of highly sensitive methodologies is of extreme importance. In this study, three major methodologies, namely enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA), liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry and real-time polymerase chain reaction, were evaluated for their performance regarding the detection of hazelnut allergens in model chocolates. The sandwich ELISA and respective antibodies were in-house developed and produced. With sensitivity levels of approximately 1 mg kg−1 and limits of quantification of 50–100 mg kg−1, all the performed methods were considered appropriate for the identification of hazelnut in complex foods such as chocolates. To our knowledge, this was the first successful attempt to develop and compare three independent approaches for the detection of allergens in foods. Figure LC-MS/MS, ELISA and real-time PCR for hazelnut allergen detection