Food allergies are adverse immune responses to food proteins that occur when the body's immune system mistakenly identifies a foreign protein as harmful. In the food industry, special care must be taken to prevent the unintentional addition of allergens to food products through contact with contaminated equipment. It is important to have a quick, easy and cost-effective detection method for allergenic proteins, such as the egg protein ovalbumin, in food products and on food processing equipment. Here we show the benefits of using Immunomagnetic Separation and Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy for the detection of ovalbumin in milk and on a stainless steel surface. These results show superior detection levels to the currently used industry method, Enzyme Linked ImmunoSorbent Assay.
Faculty mentors: Dr. Lili He and Dr. Theodore P. Labuza
This research was supported by the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP).
Rapid Detection of an Egg Allergen Ovalbumin from Milk and a Stainless Steel Surface using IMS-SERS.
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