Food allergens are ingredients in the food that can cause abnormal reactions in the body's immune system. This kind of allergic reaction belongs to type I allergy. The immune system attacks and destroys the body's own tissues, which is very unfavourable to human health. With the development of the food industry, more and more people suffer from food allergies, which increasingly affects the quality of human life, and can even be life-threatening in severe cases. Food allergies have become one of the most troublesome food safety issues. In order to prevent health accidents caused by food allergies, ELISA is widely used to detect allergens in food.
There may be major and minor allergens in food. Food allergens are generally protein or glycoprotein, mainly from peanuts, nuts, crustaceans, eggs, milk, etc.
Due to the severity and high incidence of peanut allergic reactions, the allergen has caused widespread concern in medical institutions. According to reports, peanut allergic reactions account for the most serious food-induced allergic reactions, and the prevalence is increasing. The main peanut allergens are Arah1 (relative molecular mass is 63 KD), Arah2 (relative molecular mass is 17 KD), and other related antigens are Arah3 (relative molecular mass is 60 KD), and Arah4 (relative molecular mass is 14 KD). The secondary antigens are Arah6, Arah7 and actin.
As seafood is favoured by more and more people, reports of such food allergies have gradually increased. At least 13 IgE-binding proteins have been detected in shrimp meat, and tropomyosin, arginine kinase, and sarcoplasmic calcium-binding protein are the most relevant. But tropomyosin was identified as the only major allergen. According to reports, tropomyosin is an important antigen of invertebrates such as shrimp, crab, oyster, squid, and has a highly conserved amino acid sequence.
The positive rate of children with egg food allergy is as high as 35%, and that of adults is as high as 12%. The main allergens of protein are ovomucoid Gald1, ovalbumin Gald2, ovotransferrin Gald3 and lysozyme Gald4; the main allergen of egg yolk is Ot egg yolk protein. According to reports, in egg allergies, egg whites are more likely to cause allergies than egg yolks, and ovomucoid is the main allergen. In allergies caused by egg yolk, α-ferritin is the main allergen.
The milk allergy rate of children younger than 2 years is 1.6% to 2.8%, and most children become tolerant before the age of 6 years. The main milk allergens are casein (Bosd6, Bosd8), beta-lactoglobulin and alpha-lactalbumin, among which casein has the strongest immunogenicity and antigenicity. Milk antigen is relatively stable and can maintain its immunogenicity after routine processing.
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