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Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2005 Apr;69(4):724-31.

PCR method for detecting trace amounts of buckwheat (Fagopyrum spp.) in food.

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Somatech Center, House Foods Corporation, chiba 284-0033, Japan.


Buckwheat often causes severe allergic reactions, even when its ingestion level is extremely low. Therefore, buckwheat is listed in several countries as a common food allergen. In addition to common buckwheat and Tartarian buckwheat that are cultivated and consumed widely, wild buckwheat may be potentially allergenic. Food containing undeclared buckwheat poses a risk to patients with the buckwheat allergy. We describe in this report a PCR method to detect buckwheat DNA by using primers corresponding to the internal transcribed spacer region and the 5.8S rRNA gene. The method is buckwheat-specific and compatible with both cultivated and wild buckwheat of the Fagopyrum spp. Its sensitivity was sufficient to detect 1 ppm (w/w) of buckwheat DNA spiked in wheat DNA. This method should benefit food manufacturers, clinical doctors, and allergic patients by providing information on the presence of buckwheat contamination in food.

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