If you found this site useful, please cite: 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


Food Matrix

Baked goods

Quantification of bovine β-casein allergen in baked foodstuffs based on ultra-performance liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry.

Chen, Q., Zhang, J., Ke, X., Lai, S., Tao, B., Yang, J., Mo, W., Ren, Y.

Food additives & contaminants. Part A, Chemistry, analysis, control, exposure & risk assessment (2015), 32, 1, 25--34 DOI: 10.1080/19440049.2014.990994


The quantification of allergens in food including baked food matrices is of great interest. The aim of the present study was to describe a non-immunologic method to quantify bovine ?-casein using ultra-performance liquid chromatography tandem triple quadrupole mass spectrometry (UPLC-TQ-MS/MS) in multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) mode. Eight of 10 theoretical peptides from ?-casein after tryptic digestion were compared and MRM methods were developed to determine five signature peptides. The peptide VLPVPQK was selected as the signature peptide for bovine ?-casein because of the high sensitivity. A stable isotope-labelled internal standard was designed to adjust the instability of sample pre-treatment and ionisation caused by matrix effect. Using the present suspension digestion method, the native and denatured ?-casein could be digested to release the signature peptide at the maximum extent. The UPLC-TQ-MS/MS method developed based on a tryptic signature peptide led to a reliable determination of bovine ?-casein allergen in baked food matrices at a low quantitation level down to 500 ?g kg(-1) with a satisfactory accuracy (< 8.9%) and recovery (98.8% ± 2.6% to 106.7% ± 3.0%).