Quality Assurance for the Food Allergens Testing Industry

Cotecna is a leading provider of inspection & testing services for the food allergens testing industry. Discover our essential role along the supply chain.

Allergens are proteins in foods that cause irregular immune responses. The demand for food allergen testing is expanding as consumers become more aware of the safety of the foods they consume, resulting in advanced food safety methods that can provide the demand for fresh and wholesome products.

The frequency of food allergies around the world is believed to be growing, with more than 8% of children and 2% of adults having an allergy to one or more foods. The market for global food allergen testing is divided by technology, food tested, and geography. Cotecna is a trusted partner for food allergens testing worldwide. Our experience, knowledge, and state-of-the-art facilities comply with all relevant food safety regulations in your destination markets.

Importance of Quality Control for Food Allergens

Cotecna Group laboratories specialize in chemical, biochemical, microbiological, and sensory analysis. We use modern technologies and reliable methods, which are continuously improved and extended to new parameters or new products and matrices with a wide range of accreditations. We are also working with major international companies to offer certification services and help clients demonstrate the quality of their products.

To continue leading the way to modernization, Cotecna is continuously investing in state-of-the-art laboratories and cutting-edge equipment. In 2019, Cotecna acquired Neotron (located in Modena in Italy). Neotron is a global player in the analytical sector for chemical, microbiological, and food products. Today, Neotron provides technical support of the highest level, both in the execution of analysis and guarantees its customers the application of harmonized procedures, meticulous control of operations, and complete traceability throughout the entire analytical process.

Food allergies affect millions of people and occur when the body’s immune system reacts to a particular food. In that case, mild to life-threatening symptoms arise and, although therapeutic strategies have been developed, there is currently no cure. The E.U. regulation1169/2011 defines 14 “substances or products causing allergies or intolerances” that must be registered in the list of ingredients to prevent food allergic reactions in consumers. No specifications on detection methods of these allergens are given, thus leaving the choice to the best available technique.

Neotron, part of the Cotecna Group, implemented a new analysis method to detect food allergens, digital PCR. The main advantages of this technique include lower limits of detection and reliable quantification of allergens’ D.N.A. This new technique will join the robust analytical portfolio for this purpose, which provides for E.L.I.S.A. Real Time-PCR and LC-MS/MS analysis. Digital PCR will allow qualitative and quantitative analysis of peanut, hazelnut, walnut, macadamia nut, cashew, pecan nut and pistachio nut. Soon, all other food allergens of vegetable origin will be available for detection with this technique.

To learn more about our Allergens testing services, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

About Cotecna

Cotecna provides testing, inspection, and certification services to facilitate trade and make supply chains more efficient for its clients. Founded in Switzerland in 1974, this family-owned business has grown to become a world-class international player with over 5000 employees in more than 150 offices and labs across approximately 50 countries. Its trusted network of professionals and certified & accredited laboratories provide expertise across some key sectors: agriculture & food, minerals, metals & fertilizers, government & trade, and general cargo.

Keywords: allergens, food, gluten, allergies, proteins, testing, analyses, laboratory, quality