On-line version ISSN 1852-7337
As the mandatory declaration of allergens will be soon included in the Argentine Food Code (article 235, section seven), it is necessary to implement control methodologies to detect the possible existence of allergens in commercial products. The presence of egg allergens in pasta and in products with common wheat flour and /or durum wheat semolina is possible as a result of cross contamination. The objective of this work was to evaluate, using ELISA method, the possible contamination with egg proteins in products made with common wheat flour and /or durum wheat semolina provided by a manufacturer to verify a possible contamination with egg proteins and to analyse commercial products with precautionary labels. Nineteen products made with common wheat flour and /or durum wheat semolina provided by a manufacturer and nine commercial products (dry pasta) were analysed. The egg allergen was analyzed using the r-biopharm kit - ELISA. The samples were analysed in duplicates following the kit protocol. Among the samples provided by manufacturers there were products produced in line with the production of pasta with egg, with values below the quantification limit of the kit; products produced with a low percentage of milled products that could be made with egg, in which very low quantities of egg allergens were found (lower than 5 ppm), and products produced with a high percentage of milled products that could be made with egg and in which higher concentrations were obtained (higher than 5 ppm; whole dried egg). Five of the commercial samples presented concentrations that were below or similar to the quantification limit while in the other four concentrations between 5 and 12 ppm of whole dried egg were obtained using the r-biopharm kit. Following the results obtained, the ELISA method allowed the detection of egg allergens in several samples provided by the industry as well as in some commercial samples with precautionary labels. For proper labelling of these products it would be necessary to count on threshold limit values (TLV) established by the National Health Authority.
Keywords : Eggs; Dried pasta; ELISA; Allergens.