Biotrace launches two new allergen testing kits

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Related tags: Food allergy, Allergy, Us

UK-based Biotrace International has launched two allergen testing
kits for detecting egg and peanut traces in food.

"The Tecra Egg Via and Tecra Peanut Via will help food manufacturers comply with directives in place around the world, which call for mandatory declaration of major allergens on labels,"​ the company said in a press release.

The EU will require food makers to list all potential allergens on a product's label on 25 November this year, while a similar law goes into effect in the US on 1 January 2006.

Biotrace's Tecra Egg Via kit is intended for the detection and measurement of egg in food and food-related samples.

Calibrated according to US's National Institute of Standards and Technologies standards, the kit detects the presence of egg white and egg yolk proteins in foods.

"Many egg kits on the market only detect egg white, even though egg yolk has also been shown to cause an allergic response in egg-sensitive individuals," the company said.

The second test, the Tecra Peanut Via, is also calibrated to meet US standards.

Both kits allow users to choose a protocol that suits their requirements, Biotrace said. The kits can output a simple visual signal indicating the presence or absence of eggs or peanut traces infoods. Users can also obtain a measurement of egg or peanut present with the accompanying calculator.

The Tecra also includes rapid pathogen and toxin test kits for food. Other kits test for the presence of Salmonella, Listeria, E.coli O157, Campylobacter, Pseudomonas, Staphylococcus aureus,Staphylococcal Enterotoxin and Bacillus Diarrhoeal Enterotoxin.

Biotrace tookover Australia-based Tecra Holdings last June to extend its range of safety products for the food manufacturing industry.

The EU's new labelling requirements for allergens will take full effect on 25 November this year under EU Directive (2003/89/EC). The directive requires food makers to provide a comprehensivelisting of ingredients of potential food allergens on a product's label. An estimated four per cent of adults and eight per cent of children in the EU suffer from food allergies, according to theEuropean Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients' Associations.

The new allergen labelling rules would require listings of cereals containing gluten, fish, crustaceans, egg, peanut, soy, milk and dairy products including lactose, nuts, celery, mustard, sesameseed, and sulphites.

In the US the Food Allergen and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) bill will require tighter labeling requirements for all food makers operating in the US market from 1 January 2006. The legislation will require that food manufacturers identify,"in plain, common language", the presence of any of the eight major food allergens - milk, egg, peanut, tree nut, fish, shellfish, wheat and soy.

Related topics: Processing & Packaging

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