Journal of Chromatography A (2017), 1530, 138--151 DOI: 10.1016/J.CHROMA.2017.11.039
Food allergy is a considerable heath problem, as undesirable contaminations by allergens during food production are still widespread and may be dangerous for human health. To protect the population, laboratories need to develop reliable analytical methods in order to detect allergens in various food products. Currently, a large majority of allergen-related food recalls concern bakery products. It is therefore essential to detect allergens in unprocessed and processed foodstuffs. In this study, we developed a method for detecting ten allergens in complex (chocolate, ice cream) and processed (cookie, sauce) foodstuffs, based on ultra-high performance liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC–MS/MS). Using a single protocol and considering a signal-to-noise ratio higher than 10 for the most abundant multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) transition, we were able to detect target allergens at 0.5mg/kg for milk proteins, 2.5mg/kg for peanut, hazelnut, pistachio, and cashew proteins, 3mg/kg for egg proteins, and 5mg/kg for soy, almond, walnut, and pecan proteins. The ability of the method to detect 10 allergens with a single protocol in complex and incurred food products makes it an attractive alternative to the ELISA method for routine laboratories.