April 2018 Meeting

Speaker: Melanie Downs, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Topic: MS Analysis of Food Allergens: Just Another Proteomics Application or a Whole New Kettle of Fish?

Date: Monday, April 16, 2018

Time: 6:15 pm Dinner, 7:15 pm Presentation

Location: Shimadzu Scientific Instrument, Inc. Training Center 7100 Riverwood Drive, Columbia, MD 21046 (Directions)

Dinner: Please RSVP to Stefani Thomas (sthoma92@jhmi.edu) before Friday, April 13th if you will be attending the dinner.

Abstract: Undeclared food allergens in packaged foods represent a significant health risk for food-allergic individuals and are the leading cause of food recalls. Food manufacturers are required to label ingredients derived from food allergens and to have controls in place to prevent allergen cross-contact. Allergen control validations and risk assessments for effective allergen management plans often require supporting analytical data. As food allergens are proteins, mass spectrometry seems like an obvious analytical tool to use for detection and quantification. The capabilities of MS instruments, combined with the established track record of protein detection and quantification in clinical systems, make quantifying proteins in foods using proteomics techniques seem like a natural fit. However, the unique challenges that come along with the analysis food proteins make the path towards validated analytical methods far from smooth. In comparison to clinical samples, food proteins are exposed to a wide array of harsh conditions during various stages of processing, which leads to a number of analytical hurdles. If these challenges can be overcome, however, MS methods have the potential to fill critical gaps in our ability to analyze food allergens and ultimately protect food-allergic consumers.