LFI reported previously on the development of an Enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay (ELISA) using high titered polyclonal antibodies produced in sheep against a range of commercial foodgrade carrageenans. The developed ELISA was highly sensitive (detection limit of 0.5 µg/ml) and specific for the analysis of carrageenans. The results of the investigation highlighted a significant need for improvement of the extraction, recovery and quantification of carrageenan from a range of complex food matrices. This objective of this project, is to deliver a validated quantitative ELISA for the estimation of total carrageenans in a range of foods.
The main approaches will include: (i) development of robust and reliable extraction procedures based on chemical, enzymatic and immunoaffinity purification of carrageenans from complex food matrices; and (ii) validation of the extraction procedures in combination with previously developed ELISA for carrageenans using AOAC (Association of Analaytical Committees) -approved procedures.
Polysaccharides (e.g. carrageenan (E407)) form part of an important class of food additives, providing gelling, thickening and stabilising properties in certain foods (e.g. soups, salad dressings and ice creams). A recent EC report highlighted several additives needing further review due to limited available intake data. Therefore to monitor the intake of E407 in the human diet, and to assist enforcement, reliable and validated methods are required to quantify the levels of this additive used in food.
<p>Find more about this project and other FSA food safety-related projects at the <a href="http://www.food.gov.uk/science/research/" target="_blank">Food Standards Agency Research webpage</a>.