Food Control (2012), 23, 1, 87--94 DOI: 10.1016/j.foodcont.2011.06.016
The need of label declaration for egg proteins is temporarily suspended when they are used as a processing aid in winemaking, because of a lack of scientific data concerning their actual permanence as residual proteins in fined wines. The possibility to detect residual egg proteins in red wines treated with a commercial egg white preparation was studied. By using an immunochemical method residual egg proteins were detected in the experimental red wines only for doses of fining agent of 50 g/hL or higher, whereas no residual proteins were detected by this system in a commercial red wine. A simple method based on the recovery and identification of the wine fining proteins by liquid chromatography coupled with tandem MS (LC-MS/MS) in a gel-free approach was developed. This allowed the detection of egg proteins in red wines fined down to 5 g/hL of commercial egg white preparation and also in the commercial red wine. These results indicate that the analytical approach here suggested is superior to the immunochemical methods in detecting egg proteins in wines. Therefore hypersensitivity reactions after consumption of wines treated with egg proteins can be a real risk for egg-allergic people.