Bringing Buckwheat to Book

RSSL has extended its scope for allergen testing even further by validating a method for analysis of buckwheat. Though not on the EU list of allergens that must be declared, buckwheat is a known and serious allergen in Japan, and clinical reports expose several cases in Europe. In France and Russia in particular, buckwheat is a common constituent of cakes and biscuits. There are even some brewing uses for buckwheat.

Buckwheat is important because it is often used as an alternative to wheat in gluten-free products. While gluten intolerance is not an allergic response, those individuals choosing a gluten-free product may often consider that they are making a simultaneous choice for allergen-free. Therefore, producers and their consumers need to be better informed about the use and levels of buckwheat in products and the concomitant allergen risk.

RSSL's method claims a detection limit of 2.5mg/kg of buckwheat flour protein and has been validated in a variety of matrices. According to Sonia Miguel, Technical Specialist at RSSL, "Despite its name, buckwheat is not a member of the same plant family as wheat, and does not contain gluten. At the same time as recognising its value as an alternative to wheat, we must also recognise that academic papers have described buckwheat as an emerging allergen in its own right in Europe."

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