It’s a big challenge to detect and quantify the allergen soy in pea products. The most common method used for detecting allergens is ELISA.
Several ELISA-kits for detecting soy, developed by different manufacturers, are available on the market. Not every manufacturer thorougly assessed his own product for potential cross reactivity. One of them reports a slight cross reactivity of pea in the soy assay. There are two different ways for developing ELISA assays for allergens in food: using either the processed food or the pure/raw product to harvest the antibodies applied in the assay.. As we discovered, both types of assay show cross reactivity.
A second option is the PCR method. PCR is based on the presence of DNA. This type of method can also have cross reactivity, but in practice/in essence, they are more selective. None of the manufacturers of PCR-kits mention cross reactivity on soy PCR assays for pea products. The PCR assay for soy in pea products is strongly preferred.
The latest method for detecting allergens is LC MSMS. Nutrilab developed this new method in cooperation with Wageningen University. This method is highly specific for detecting allergens in products. It can be used for processed and unprocessed foods. When ELISA and PCR don’t give the right information/a satisfactory result, LC MSMS will give a complete peptide profile. Because we can identify an array peptides from a typical product, we can achieve a high level of certainty.
For more information please contact Nutrilab.