Allergen Analysis in Food, Swabs and Rinse Water

The sensitivity of allergen detection methods depends on the matrix and the allergenic food to be detected. We provide more detailed information on the potential applications of the different detection methods with respect to the relevant allergenic food and matrix in individual consultations. Some cases may require a combination of detection methods.

Immunological allergen detection by means of ELISA

Immunological protein detection methods, so-called Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assays (ELISA) are solid phase coupled antibody tests. The allergenic food is detected with specific monoclonal or polyclonal antibodies. The limit of detection is matrix-dependent between 0.5-1 mg/kg of allergenic food (ca. 0.1-1 mg/kg potentially allergenic protein).

Molecular biological allergen detection using real-time PCR

The molecular biological detection methods used for allergen detection involve the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The allergenic food is detected based on amplification of a specific DNA fragment. The limit of detection is matrix-dependent between 2-20 mg/kg of allergenic food.

Available methods of detection

At ifp, the allergens listed below are detected by means of the following methods:

1 immunologically (ELISA, Lateral Flow); 2 molecular biologically (real-time PCR); 3 enzymatically; 4 distillation/titration

Tree nuts1, 2

  • Almond
  • Brazil nut
  • Cashew
  • Hazelnut
  • Macadamia
  • Pecan nut
  • Pistachio
  • Walnut

Legumes1, 2

  • Lupin
  • Peanut
  • Soy

Animal allergens

  • Egg1
    • Lysozyme (in wine analysis)
    • Ovalbumin (in wine analysis)
    • Whole egg
  • Milk
    • β-Lactoglobulin1
    • Casein1
    • Whole milk1
    • Lactose3
  • Seafood
    • Fish2
    • Crustaceans1, 2
    • Molluscs2


  • Gluten1
  • Barley2
  • Oat2
  • Rye2
  • Wheat2
  • Soft wheat2


  • Celery2
  • Mustard1, 2
  • Sesame1, 2
  • Sulphite4