Project A03043 included a review on the type and extent of latex protein containing material used industrially. Additionally, it was demonstrated that latex allergens, measured using a modified FITKit-ELISA protocol, were present and detectable in food packaging materials. When the method was applied to food matrices, overall recovery for allergens Hev b5 and Hev b6.02 was reasonable (at 68 28% and 89 18% respectively). <p>
However, Hev b1 and Hev b3 proved difficult to extract from food matrices and measurement of these allergens in food could only be considered as semi-quantitative at best. Overall, the results indicated that further technical work was required to develop reliable and robust validated ELISAs for the quantitative recovery of latex allergens, especially Hev b1 and Hev b3. The most relevant matrices were identified as confectionery, dairy and pastry products.
The main objectives are listed below:
Measurement of latex allergen concentrations in food contact materials. The modified ELISA protocol will be re-established in the laboratory and used to measure allergen levels in representative batches of cold seal adhesive and bakery release films.<br>
Extraction and measurement of Hev b1 and Hev b3 from selected food types. This phase will investigate several options for increasing the recovery of Hev b1 and Hev b3 from selected confectionery, dairy and pastry products (e.g. use of Pulsifier and chemical or enzymatic extractants). These approaches would take into account the hydrophobic nature of these proteins. Improvement in measurement uncertainties for recovery of Hev b5 and Hev b6.02, and if possible the recoveries themselves of these analytes, will also be sought.<br>
Validation of the new extraction and ELISA protocol. This will be carried out for all four latex allergens with reference to IUPAC guidelines. The outcome will provide data that will demonstrate the suitability of the methods for quantification of latex allergens in selected foods.
Demonstration of method by second laboratory and application to industrial samples. A check exercise will be carried out to provide further supporting data on the reliability of the assay. Finally, the modified protocol will be tested on foods collected from food manufacturing sites to demonstrate its appropriateness for the end use situation.
<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>.