Introduction

Food Allergen Lateral Flow

Avoiding dangerous food allergies

Currently, one in three Japanese are said to have some type of allergy. In particular, food allergy morbidity is thought to be approximately 5-10% in infants, approximately 5% in young children and 1.5-3% in children in school age, with this trend increasing in recent years1) 2). Moreover, not only in Japan, but worldwide, problems with allergies have increased in severity. To prevent food allergy reaction, avoiding foods which trigger an allergic response is considered important.

In Japan, foods which trigger an allergic response include processed food which contain eggs, milk, soba, peanuts, shrimp, and crab (7 specified ingredients). These foods are required to display such ingredients according to the regulations in the Food Sanitation Act, due to the frequency of cases and their severity. 3)

In order to avoid contamination with the specified ingredients during the manufacturing process at the food-processing plant, management of the specified ingredients such as in raw material, interim product and final product is useful. It is also useful to have a cleaning check of the production. Lateral Flow IIR is a simplified test kit for specified ingredients based on the immunochromatography method, and is suitable to quickly and easily identify mixed specified ingredients.

Lateral Flow IIR kit is used to detect specified ingredients (egg, milk, flour, and peanuts) in a sample, based on the principles of the immunochromatography method. When the end of the test stick is dipped into the sample solution, a reddish purple line will appear on the judgment part, if the specified ingredients are contained in the sample (5ppm and more). On the other hand, if none of the specified ingredients are contained in the sample (less than 5ppm), a line will not appear on judgment part.

Features of Lateral Flow IIR

Lateral Flow IIR has a reaction time of basically 15 minutes. Even with an extraction process, measurement can be performed within one hour, making this a very fast kit.

For example, in the production process at a food plant, products with no allergens may be produced on the same production line after other products with allergens are processed. Lateral Flow IIR is a useful tool to confirm contamination condition.

The same Lateral Flow IIR kit can be used for all the following test processes 1) screening test of raw materials at receiving, 2) monitoring cleanliness of a process line (wipe-off test, line cleaning water test), 3) screening test of products (final product test) before shipping.

For 2) monitoring cleanliness of a process line (wipe-off test, line cleaning water test), judgment can be made by simply dropping 5-6 drops of wipe-off liquid / line cleaning water on the test stick, and waiting 15 minutes (test items are limited to milk, flour, and peanuts).

Also, the test agent used for 1) screening test of raw materials at receiving and 3) screening test of products before shipping in Lateral Flow IIR, utilizes the same technology as our ELISA Kit4) used by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in the U.S. A main feature of this simplified test kit is its ability to test processed foods with a lower false-negative risk.

These features have gained Lateral Flow IIR a reputation of high reliability, and the kit is high valued by companies in Japan and around the world.

1) Japanese Pediatric Guideline for Food Al Japanese Pediatric Guideline for Food Allergy 2012
2) School Manual for anaphylactic reaction due to food allergy
3) Consumer Affairs Agency, Government of Japan, website (http://www.caa.go.jp/en/index.html)
4) Wheat/Gluten (Gliadin) ELISA Kit

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