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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1990 Jul;86(1):41-4.

Immunoassay of peanut allergens in food-processing materials and finished foods.

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Department of Pediatrics, Mayo Medical School, Rochester, Minn.


To quantitate trace amounts of peanut allergens in food-processing materials and finished foods, we established a solid-phase radioimmunoassay inhibition using pooled sera from five peanut-sensitive subjects and a roasted peanut-meal extract covalently linked to polyacrylamide beads. Test samples were extracted, dialyzed, lyophilized, and reconstituted at 10 to 225 mg of dry weight per milliliter concentrations. The peanut-allergen content of test samples was expressed relative to a reference extract of roasted peanut meal that was assigned an arbitrary potency of 100,000 U/ml. In confectionery products spiked with varying quantities of peanut (0.7% to 0.0175%), the recovery of peanut allergen ranged from 31% to 94%. The sensitivity of the assay was 2.5 U/mg of dry weight from these samples (0.00875% peanut). Peanut allergens were undetectable in virgin vegetable oil used to roast peanuts, but 600 to 7600 U/mg of dry weight were present in oil after varying periods of use. The allergen content of used oil was reduced to 8 U/mg of dry weight by filtration and steam cleaning. The availability of such assays provides a means of monitoring finished food products for potential allergens. This monitoring in turn will provide the means to correlate symptoms experienced by sensitive patients with the exact quantity of allergen ingested. At the present time, there is little information on the quantities of ingested peanut allergen that pose risks to peanut-sensitive subjects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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