Advances in biosensor technologies for food allergen monitoring and diagnosis

Shimaa Eissa, Raja Chinnappan, Mohammed Zourob

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Food allergy is considered one of the major health issues nowadays (Cianferoni and Spergel1, 2009; Sicherer and Sampson, 2009) that affects millions of people worldwide, especially in industrial countries. Studies have shown that food allergy affects about 4% of the adult population (Sampson et al., 2005) and a higher prevalence amongst children (6-8%) was reported (Roehr et al., 2004). Food allergy is an abnormal immunological response that arises after eating certain kinds of food. This hypersensitivity is mediated by the production of immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies in the body of the allergic individual exposed to specific allergen leading to serious health problems. The resulting immunological reactions from the intake of particular allergen depends on the dose and the sensitivity of the consumer (Taylor et al., 2002). No treatment has been discovered for food allergy until now; therefore, sensitive individuals must assure the elimination of the specific allergen from their food. For this reason, the European legislation states that 14 allergenic food ingredient have to be clearly listed on the label of the food product. However, the unintentional contamination of food with allergens that are not listed on the food label can occur during any stage of the food chain. This contamination may happen during food manufacturing due to the use of shared equipment 290with insufficient cleaning or during transfer or storage processes. In order to avoid cross contact between food ingredients, many industrial institutions have separate production lines for different kinds of products (Taylor et al., 2006). More than 160 food materials can be considered as allergic compounds. Particularly, milk, eggs, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, soybeans, sesame seed and seafoods (fish, crustaceans and shellfish) are considered the most common allergic food ingredients which cause more than 90% of food allergies worldwide (Hefle et al., 1996). The hazard of the unexpected exposure to hidden allergenic components in processed food has led to a high demand for the development of sensitive tools for allergen detection. Efficient detection methods for the sensitive tracing of allergens in food products and equipment are required for regulatory agencies and food manufacturers for assessing and managing the risk of food contamination with allergens.

Original languageBritish English
Title of host publicationFood Allergy
Subtitle of host publicationMethods of Detection and Clinical Studies
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781498743587
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • Allergy diagnosis
  • Aptamer
  • Graphene
  • Microarrays
  • Multiplexing
  • Nanomaterial


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