RSSL’s solution to the recent peanut and almond protein found in cumin

RSSL can currently detect almond protein using ELISA techniques or can detect peanut or almond using a DNA based method.

Reports have emerged from the US Food and Drug Administration about undeclared peanut protein in cumin which presents a possible health risk to consumers with peanut allergy. The problem was first highlighted when Adams Flavours issued a voluntary recall for several of its spiced products after the cumin they purchased was found to contain undeclared peanut proteins.  This has since resulted in a large number of cumin-related recalls. 

Prompted by USA and Canadian issues, the Food Standards Agency commissioned a sampling programme which involved testing batches of ground cumin and cumin seeds sold in the UK for the presence of peanut and almond.  This has resulted in one recall to date.   

“Allergen issues are a major concern, both to allergic consumers and industry” notes Barbara Hirst, RSSL Consultant, Food Safety and Quality.  “When issues like these arise, testing validation is critical to understand the scale of the problem and ensure all results have been verified.”

The key is for suppliers and manufacturers to work with testing laboratories to ensure that robust sampling plans and the most appropriate testing are undertaken. Spices can be a difficult matrix to test, so being able to use the most appropriate validated method is critical for the detection of peanut and almond in these types of samples.  

RSSL can currently detect almond protein using ELISA techniques or can detect peanut or almond using a DNA based method.  

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