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Allergens & ATP


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Nathan.

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 02:13 PM

Can anyone please clarify something on allergens and ATP for me? The use of ATP will not detect any allergen proteins, correct? ATP luminometers are used to detect ATP in living organisms. Is a surface is microbiologically clean but has remaining allergen proteins, an ATP meter will not help...?
ATP is being used and sold as a solution because it can detect whether a surface has been thoroughly cleaned and one can therefore assume that it could also be allergen free?
Finally, the use of ELISA allergen test kits (or some other form of lab analytical testing) is the only way to really test for the presence of an allergen?
Thanks all, new member, 1st post.
Love the site and forums!



Nathan.

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 02:15 PM

Small addition...same would be said about sanitizers. They will not aid (besides simply the washing away) of an allergen, correct?



mgourley

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 02:18 PM

You would be correct.



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JulienL

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 08:15 AM

Hi Nathan,

ATP is a chemical molecule present in both living and dead cells.
It is used to transport energy in the cell.
ATP is therefore present both in microorganisms and food cells.

An ATP- luminometer detects ATP, not proteins.

The results of ATP-testing can only be used to determine if a surface is clean or not.
If the surface isn't clean, ATP-testing cannot determine if this is because of product residues or bacterial growth.
Of course if a surface is clean, it is free for bacteries, product residues and allergens !

It is correct that only ELISA or other corresponding tests will detect a specific allergen.
However I know that there are swab-tests that can detect proteins on a surface. But this will not detect specific proteins like allergens.
Here again, if the surface is free for proteins it is also free for allergens.

It is also correct that sanitation will not destroy an allergen, just wash it away.

Merry Christmas :o)



Cumbrian

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 09:38 AM

The swabs JulienL is taking about are called Allergenie. They detect very low levels of ATP, much lower than any normal ATP swab.

No ATP = No proteins = No allergens

Swabs are from a company called Charm Sciences www.charm.com



cazyncymru

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 12:12 PM

Hi Nathan

I assume your using something like a Biotrace Swab?

We use the Clean Trace swab to check for cleaning. It is important to ensure that there are no residues of detergent or sanitiser on the surface as this will give you a false result.

Biotrace (3M's) also do a Surface protein Plus swab. We use these during intermediate cleans to check for cleanliness. As allergens are proteins, we find this helpful when changing from an allergen product to a non-allergen product.

They also do a Clean Trace Surface protein (allergen) swab, which will detect allergen proteins, but will not differentiate the allergen protein. They also need to be incubated for 15 minutes at 55 degrees.

Alternatively you can get allergen test kits from Neogen, which will differentiate the different allergens, you just have to buy the kit that is relevant. You can test surface swabs and product with these swabs.

Hope this helps

Caz x



RJF

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 02:33 PM

Hi Nathan

A few other considerations:

Specificity & Sensitivity of tests
- these are two important considerations for allergen testing, knowing that the test will firstly detect the specific allergen(s) you wish to control and can do so at sensitive levels of detection. No test is equally sensitive for all allergens and a negative result does not necessarily mean that the allergen(s) were not present (just not detected). The allergen specific tests should be able to offer you the greater level of assurance that a surface is clean from an allergen perspective and a protein test from a broader hygiene perspective, provided some level of validation work is performed.

Risk Assessment
- given that food allergens are a food safety risk and the Risk Assessment will identify and prioritise which allergens need to be controlled and where in the factory, the usual choice is to use an allergen specific test to demonstrate that the allergen has been controlled (e.g. for audit purposes).

ELISA Testing
- the consensus view is that because allergens are proteins and the ELISA tests detect the proteins directly then these are the preferred choice for lab based analysis at this time. There are also options for some allergens to be detected by DNA analysis (though the presence of DNA does not necessarily indicate the presence of allergenic protein) and potentially for multi-allergen analysis by LC MS/MS techniques (but this is early days as an approach). ELISA kits are readily available for the major allergens, they can quantitate (to different degrees of accuracy) and are affordable so are routinely used.

I work for the test kit producer and service lab, Romer Labs, so spend my days advising on these points and others. Hope these comments help you select the best test for your needs.

Richard



mfontanotb

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 03:30 PM

Hi, I have used both... allergen swabs detection kits and elisa kits.

Both have pro and contra issues.

Finally, what you really want to know is cleaning and washing had rinsed the allergen out. Taking in account this allergen swabs are a high sensitive tecnique. In dispite you don't will know which allergen is on that surface you will know if your cleaning procedures or SOPs are enough to eliminate this risk of cross contamination.

It does not matter what allergen is stil there... you have to assure it would not be left any of them.

 

regards,

 

MF



Quality Ben

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 07:48 PM

I find a three / four stage process works the best.

Visual clean

Protein swabs

Lateral flow / ELISA

Product testing

:)






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