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Use of Immunoaffinity Techniques and Existing Antibodies to Develop Validated Extraction Methods for Polysaccharide Additives in Foodstuffs


This project aims to characterise the specificity and cross reactivity of the antibodies with other common food ingredients using standard ELISA (Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbant Assay) methods. Commercial samples of gum arabic will be tested (different suppliers) as well as a set of 50 well characterised samples of known origin and defined chemical composition.

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Gum arabic (E414) is a natural plant exudate gum, harvested as 'tears' from various species of Acacia trees (principally Acacia senegal and A. seyal) of African origin. The gum is widely used in foods and beverages as an emulsifier and/or stabiliser. The Agency has a requirement for appropriate methods for detecting and quantifying the concentrations of food additives for surveillance purposes and to estimate intakes in the population.
The main functional component of gum arabic is a polysaccharide (a complex carbohydrate). Detection and quantification of polysaccharides is difficult because of their highly variable nature (i.e. there is often no unique chemical fingerprint).

<p>Find more about this project and other FSA food safety-related projects at the <a href="; target="_blank">Food Standards Agency Research webpage</a>.

ADAS Consulting Ltd
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