Certified reference material plays a decisive role in food analysis. But so far, suitable material was missing for allergen analysis. Now, MoniQA Association has presented the first validated reference material for the analysis of milk allergen.
For many laboratories, they are an important component of quality assurance: certified reference materials. They allow the user to assess whether the test results are reliable and to rule out false positive or false negative results. Only recently, we emphasized the importance of reference material. However, certified reference material is not available for every field of analysis. One major challenge is the production of reference material for allergen analysis. Allergenic proteins may alter and change their structure or concentrations – and thus cause instability and unconformity.
Allergen analysis is a field with a high demand for certified reference material. The most common technique for the detection of allergens is an ELISA test – a method which is very effective, easy to use and relatively cheap. Yet, comparability of measured results is difficult without reference material. Due to high demand, there have been continuing efforts to develop certified reference material also for allergen analysis. In 2013, the renowned MoniQA Association (International Association for Monitoring and Quality Assurance in the Total Food Supply Chain) launched a respective initiative.
Since January 2017, the first validated reference material for food allergens is available at R-Biopharm. The portfolio, produced by Trilogy Laboratories, includes four testing materials for milk allergen:
Milk reference material:
- SMP-MQA 092014: Positive control, characterized dried skim milk powder
- BLANK-MQA 082015: Negative control, based on a gluten free cookie
- LOW-MQA 102016: Incurred material, concentration approx. 10 ppm
- HIGH-MQA 082016: Incurred material, concentration approx. 50 ppm
The samples are available individually and as a set of four (Art. No. MQA 122016). The materials come in 5 g pouches. According to MoniQA Association, further reference materials are in preparation (gluten and soya) and will be available shortly.