National Reference Laboratory for food allergens

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Currently little validation data is available to compare the methods of detecting food allergens. There are few standardised validation protocols or reference materials at an international level.

Major advances have been made in recent years in evaluating and controlling food allergies.

Progress has primarily been made in the development of analytical tools and in the management of the risk of contamination.

Much research is still needed to set the detection limits of the analytical methods depending on the sensitivity thresholds of the allergic patients.

In this context, the AFSCA designated the CER Group and the ILVO-T&V as National Reference Laboratory for allergens as of 01/01/2011.

Our main tasks are:

  • To arrange training courses on the use of analytical methods such as PCR and ELISA for the detection of food allergens;
  • To organise ring tests;
  • To resolve the analytical challenges attached to regulation;
  • To provide technical and scientific assistance in order to:
    1. organise and follow up a monitoring plan for detecting food allergens;
    2. interpret the results of analysis;
    3. quantify food allergens;
    4. establish detection limits for analytical methods.
  • To monitor the scientific, technical and legislative literature specific to food allergens;
  • To provide assistance in the organisation and evaluation of immunological methods of validation (ELISA) and of molecular biology (PCR);
  • To collaborate in inter-laboratory validations and in validating commercial kits based on immunological methods (ELISA) and molecular biology (PCR);
  • To define a list of methods or "reference" kits that can be used for routine analyses or for the confirmatory analyses performed in the context of the monitoring plan, based on a scientific evaluation and in collaboration with the AFSCA;
  • To organise inter-laboratory tests (ring tests) at the national level in accordance with the Royal Decree of 15 April 2005 and participate in these tests internationally in the context of detecting food allergens;
  • To organise conferences on the general issue of food allergens.

Analyses available

Analysis request form (EN)

CER Groupe
Analytical Laboratory 
+32(0)84 65 80 97
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