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

Tree nuts

Food Matrix


Development of a LC-MS method for the discrimination between trace level Prunus contaminants of spices

Inman, S.E., Groves, K., McCullough, B., Quaglia, M., Hopley, C.

Food Chemistry (2018), 245, 289--296 DOI: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2017.10.101


The need for an analytical procedure for the identification of allergens present at trace levels in foods was highlighted by conflicting results in a case of contamination of the spice cumin. The application of a bottom-up proteomics experiment was investigated to identify marker peptides for potential contaminant nuts which could then be monitored with high specificity and sensitivity by selective reaction monitoring experiments. The method developed allowed for the distinction between two closely related Prunus species, almond and mahaleb, in two different spices, cumin and paprika. The paprika sample was found to be contaminated with almond and the cumin sample, contaminated at a much lower level, was found to be contaminated with mahaleb. The method could be applied to any protein-dense food matrix allergen so long as suitable control and reference samples can be acquired.