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A Glass of Wine Could Trigger Allergies, Increasing the Need for ‘Wine-Testing’ Before ‘Wine-Tasting’

With the ever-growing epidemic of allergies across the world ‒ specifically egg and milk allergens ‒ consumers are becoming more conscientious about potential allergens that are present in the food they eat and the beverages they drink, including wine. Egg whites and milk products are commonly used in the wine-making process, increasing the likelihood of the presence of egg & milk proteins in the wine that people consume. To help protect consumers against allergic reactions, AB SCIEX, a global leader in analytical technologies, today announced a new method for allergen detection in wine.

Changes in regulations around the world have accelerated the drive for allergen testing of wine. For example, recent legislation in the European Union established that wine companies must disclose on the label if fining reagents, such as egg ovalbumin or casein, have been used in processing. In order to eliminate cloudiness, fining agents are used to pick out the sediment in the wine barrels.

In recent years, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) concluded from a survey that wines fined with casein, caseinate and milk products may trigger adverse reactions in susceptible individuals.

“Wine-tasting has now morphed into wine-testing,” said Vincent Paez, Senior Director of Food & Environment at AB SCIEX. “Even a sip of wine could cause an allergic reaction in an individual, so the accuracy and reliability of the test results are important. Because consumers should be able to enjoy a glass of wine without adverse health risks from unknown allergens, AB SCIEX has developed this new method based on mass spectrometry, which is one of the world’s most proven technologies for detecting chemical compounds in food and beverages.”

Mass spectrometry is a fast, highly sensitive detection technology used to identify and measure molecules. With this new method, the AB SCIEX brand of mass spectrometry technology – featuring micro LC in this method – can be used to screen samples of wine for multiple allergens in a single run – unlike ELISA assays, which often require separate kits per allergen.

The AB SCIEX method for wine allergen testing is designed to cut analysis times in half, reduce solvent consumption and increase sensitivity by up to a factor of 10 compared to alternative approaches based on ELISA and real-time PCR.

This new, rapid detection method was developed using a variety of AB SCIEX products, including the Eksigent microLC 200 System and the AB SCIEX QTRAP® 5500 System using the Scheduled MRM™ algorithm. It enables detection of casein and egg in wine at the extremely minute level of below 0.1 parts per million (ppm).

The method utilizes a simplified sample preparation where any proteins in the wine are digested, and the resulting sample is then diluted before injection into the instrument for analysis. The method also reduces the occurrence of false positives associated with other techniques due to the multiple identification markers acquired by each allergen.


AB SCIEX helps to improve the world we live in by enabling scientists and laboratory analysts to push the limits in their field and address the complex analytical challenges they face. The company’s global leadership and world-class service and support in the mass spectrometry industry have made it a trusted partner to thousands of the scientists and lab analysts worldwide who are focused on basic research, drug discovery and development, food and environmental testing, forensics and clinical research. With more than 40 years of proven innovation, AB SCIEX excels by listening to and understanding the ever-evolving needs of its customers to develop reliable, sensitive and intuitive solutions that continue to redefine what is achievable in routine and complex analysis. For more information about the company, go to www.absciex.com/company/overview.

© 2014. AB SCIEX. The trademarks mentioned herein are the property of AB Sciex Pte. Ltd. or their respective owners. AB SCIEXTM is being used under license. AB Sciex Instruments Are For Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.

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