Reference Materials for Food Allergen and Gluten Free Analysis

Effective allergenic risk assessment and management are important to protect allergic consumers and to comply with allergen labelling regulations. Such approaches require reliable analytical tools for the detection of allergens in food.

Due to the nature of the analytes and their susceptibility to various processing effects, reliability and comparability of results have posed a great challenge. Both reference methods and reference materials are urgently needed here. It is one of the aims of MoniQA— Monitoring and Quality Assurance in the Total food Supply Chain (www.moniqa.org) - the global food safety network registered as MoniQA Association (initially funded by the European Commission as a Network of Excellence, 2007-2012) to provide guidelines for method validation, reference materials and assess the reliability of methods and obtained results through validation studies and proficiency testing schemes.

In 2013 MoniQA initiated a Task Force on the development of food allergen and gluten-free reference materials. The Task Force is an international group comprised of several SDOs (Standardisation Organisations), industry representatives, policy makers, test kit providers and method developers, analytical companies, as well as representatives from various universities. This international group works towards consensus on the specific requirements and the design of global food allergen reference/testing materials and gluten-free standard materials. For this purpose MoniQA has liaised with the EU funded project iFAAM, the Prolamin Working Group and Australia’s Vital concept group.

The aim of MoniQA’s initiative is the publication of a Guidance Document on the special requirements and production of gluten-free reference materials. Accompanying research and the optimization of the production scheme to provide basic and incurred reference materials, spiked samples and extracts have been initiated. This paper will give insight in the challenges, controversial views, and the design of the reference materials and the current state of affairs. First details will be given on the characterization of the milk material and the basic matrix material based on a gluten-free rice cookie. For the gluten-free analysis the selection criteria and characterization of the candidate wheat varieties have recently been completed.

AttachmentSize
Invitation Letter MoniQA Milk QCM Testing 2015-06-12.pdf287.65 KB
Letter MoniQA Milk QCM Testing for web 2015-12-16.pdf69.09 KB
Presentation Poms Allergen Reference Materials AOAC LA 2015-09-30.pdf2.46 MB

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