Neogen launches multi-tree nut allergen test

By Joseph James Whitworth contact

- Last updated on GMT

Neogen's Reveal for Multi-Treenut test
Neogen's Reveal for Multi-Treenut test

Related tags: Food, Validation, Allergy, Neogen

Neogen has launched a test that can simultaneously detect six tree nuts in 10 minutes after extraction.

Reveal for Multi-Treenut detects 5-10 parts per million (ppm) of almond, hazelnut, pecan, walnut, cashew and pistachio residues on environmental surfaces and in rinses.

The test helps food manufacturers in cleaning validations or verification of existing procedures to prevent cross-contamination of tree nuts within manufacturing facilities.

Neogen said the development is a result of requests from customers to develop a single test to detect multiple tree nuts at once.

The firm added customers told them it is common in production environments for multiple tree nuts to occur and they would prefer not to test for each separately.

Extensive market research

Joanne McPeake, marketing manager at Neogen Europe, said it has been in development for over a year.

“Prior to the test being developed we carried out extensive market research which showed a strong requirement to detect more than one nut at the same time,” ​she told FoodQualityNews.

“Currently there are no multi-analyte lateral flow tests for testing multiple tree nuts. There is limited availability of rapid lateral flow tests for some of the nuts detected using Reveal for Multi-Treenut, for example, pecan.”

Reveal for Multi-Treenut is in a lateral flow format which involves dipping the test’s device in an extracted sample, and waiting 10 minutes. 

If two lines develop, the test is positive for one or more of the six tree nuts. If only one line develops, the test is negative.

It is is available via direct sales divisions in the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, USA, Mexico, Brazil and China and through distributors in Eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia and Australia.

Food product screening potential

McPeake said as part of the validation process it looked at a number of food products during development.

“Reveal for Multi-Treenut has undergone rigorous validation to evaluate the specificity, sensitivity, robustness and intra and inter-batch variability of the test method on rinses and environmental swabs,” ​she said.

“Our results indicate that the device could be suitable for food product screening but due to the complexity and variety of food matrices and manufacturing methods we would always recommend that lateral flow assays are validated for suitability with food matrices on a case by case basis prior to routine testing.”

Neogen’s food allergen testing products were developed with the University of Nebraska’s Food Allergy Research and Resource Program (FARRP).

FARRP is a food industry and university partnership formed to provide research and resource tools to the industry.

The test is designed for qualitative detection and employs the principles of lateral flow chromatography, said McPeake.

“The test will be able to help screen as most samples should be negative when adequate controls are in place. If a swab or rinse is positive it can indicate that cleaning controls may need to be looked at,” ​she said. 

“Our customer feedback indicated that there is a chance of [a blending together] of tree nuts in the supply chain, so even if the nut type was known it may still be difficult to trace where cross contamination may have occurred.

“If a site is handling more than one type of tree nut or not using precautionary labelling, there may not be a need to know which nut would be detected as it would be the presence of any nut that would be important to know.”

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