ALLERMAS project

Title: Development of multi-allergen detection methods

Project developer:           CER Group, Health Department

Acronym:                           ALLERMAS

Contract no.:                     Convention First DoCA 2013/06/13 - 1217881

From:                                 01/10/2013

To:                                      30/09/2015


dgo6 logo SPF

Financed by: Regional level: Wallonia Public Service – Directorate General Operational of Economy, Employment and Research (DGO6)

Brief outline of the project:

The ALLERMAS project (DoCA FIRST programme) finances the work of a Ph.D. candidate in the CER’s Health Department.
Food allergies are a growing Public Health problem, affecting 2 to 3% of adults and up to 8% of children. To protect allergic consumers, labelling of packaged products must note the presence of 14 allergens: cereals containing gluten, shellfish, eggs, fish, peanuts, soya, milk, nuts, celery, mustard, sesame, sulphites, molluscs and lupin.
Currently, the detection of allergens in foodstuffs relies mainly on ELISA methods. Immunological methods show substantial variability in terms of quantification due to matrix interference, different specificity of antibodies in the commercial ELISA kits and modifications caused by the “processing” of targeted proteins. In addition, although processed foodstuffs are likely to contain several allergens, each test detects only one allergen.
Advances are necessary in analytical techniques to enable enterprises to manage the contamination of their products in a more global manner and make labelling relevant and reliable for allergic consumers.
The aim of the project is, therefore, to develop a multi-allergen dosage method suitable for analysis of raw and processed foodstuffs. Liquid chromatography combined with mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS) has proven to be a preferred technique on account of it being particularly specific with regard to the identity of compounds, as well as being sensitive and better able to resist interferences. It also enables a number of allergens to be tested in a single analysis, which will reduce costs. The method will be developed for milk, eggs and soya in a model matrix (biscuits); during the project it will be supplemented by new markers.
Proteomic techniques will be used to characterise the allergens during the “processing” and for allergens that have not been studied to any great extent, such as lupin.


Logo projet Allermas First DoCA 

Role of the CER:

During the project, the CER will supervise the recruited Ph.D. candidate and take part in a number of tasks:

  • T1. Bibliographic summary
  • T2. Peptide synthesis
  • T3. Development of a multi-allergen analytical method (UPLC-MS/MS)
  • T4. Production of antibodies
  • T5. Development of immunological purification methods
  • T6. Development of immunological tests
  • T7. Study of the stability of peptides under processing conditions


For more information, please contact us:

CER Group – Health Department

Nathalie GILLARD
+32 (0)84 31 00 90
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

+32 (0)84 31 00 90
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.