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


Impact of heat processing on the detection of the major shellfish allergen tropomyosin in crustaceans and molluscs using specific monoclonal antibodies.

Kamath, S. D., Abdel Rahman, A. M., Komoda, T. & Lopata, A. L.

Food chemistry (2013), 141, 4031--9 DOI: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2013.06.105


The major heat-stable shellfish allergen, tropomyosin, demonstrates immunological cross-reactivity, making specific differentiation of crustaceans and molluscs for food labelling very difficult. The aim of this study was to evaluate the application of allergen-specific monoclonal antibodies in differential detection of shellfish-derived tropomyosin in 11 crustacean and 7 mollusc species, and to study the impact of heating on its detection. Cross-reactive tropomyosin was detected in all crustacean species, with partial detection in molluscs: mussels, scallops and snails but none in oyster, octopus and squid. Furthermore, we have demonstrated that heating of shellfish has a profound effect on tropomyosin detection. This was evident by the enhanced recognition of multiple tropomyosin variants in the analysed shellfish species. Specific monoclonal antibodies, targetting the N-terminal region of tropomyosin, must therefore be developed to differentiate tropomyosins in crustaceans and molluscs. This can help in correct food labelling practices and thus protection of consumers.