ALLERGEN-RELATED SERVICES

ALLERGEN TESTING

The FACTS laboratory is the first in South Africa (and one of few worldwide) to be able to detect and quantify traces of contaminant allergens in food products. In addition to providing a reliable result, our expertise allows us to interpret our findings and to recommend practical solutions.

FACTS offers a variety of food allergen testing options. Please view the testing catalogue for more information:

View Testing Catalogue

TO REQUEST A QUOTATION: Please send us either an email or give us a call - contact us.


SAMPLING:

1. Please provide three 100g samples of each product which is representative of the batch or lot (which we will homogenize) OR provide a sample which has been homogenized by you. If you have less than this, please call us to discuss.

2. You are welcome to contact us for assistance on how to take the most representative sample for your objectives. Some general guidelines are included here:

• For detection of an allergen in the product, please take samples from the final product.

• For detection of contamination during production, please take samples during different stages of production where contamination could be possible. Samples can be combined to form a composite sample or can be tested individually to isolate the contamination point.

• Swabbing of food contact surfaces or equipment for allergens should be carried out using swabs which are specifically designed for allergens, which make use of buffers intended to preserve the stability of allergens in solution. Examples of these are RIDASCREEN® Sampling Tools (Art. No. Z0010) or BIOKITS Allergen swabbing kit.


SENDING SAMPLES:

1. Always call before sending samples. Let us know how many samples you are sending and for which allergen they need to be tested.

2. Package well. Leakage can contaminate other samples and yield unsuitable results.

3. For allergen swabs: Using the recommended swab kits, swabbed samples can be stored at room temperature or below for up to four days before analysis. The allergens will generally be stable in the buffer for this time period. If the samples need to be kept for longer than 4 days, it must be frozen.

4. Always include a completed 'Analysis Request Form' with all samples delivered. Such a form can be downloaded here but will be sent to you with your quotation:

Download Analysis Request Form

5. Test results will be available within 15 working days from receiving the samples.

6. It is advisable to provide up to 3 weeks notice of planned testing to ensure that reports are provided in a timely manner.


IMPORTANT NOTES ON ALLERGEN TESTING:

• All testing is done in duplicate.

• With regards to ELISA testing: Due to the nature of proteins, the possibility exists that proteins that have been extensively processed, hydrolyzed or fermented may not be detected using ELISA methods for allergen testing. Heating, hydrolysis or fermentation can alter the proteins to the extent that they cannot be detected by the ELISA, however, active allergenic residues could still be present. If it is suspected by the company supplying samples to FACTS that the proteins present may have been altered from their usual native confirmation, please provide us with this information prior to the testing so that suitable alternative testing methods can be arranged.

• With regards to PCR analysis: While DNA is more resistant to degradation than protein, the possibility does exist that DNA could become degraded to some extent during processing. Although not likely, the possibility thus also exists that such degraded DNA may not be accurately detected by the PCR primers used in the reaction. If it is suspected by the company supplying samples to FACTS that the DNA present may have been altered from its native confirmation due to processing, it would be beneficial to provide us with this information prior to the testing so that suitable alternative testing methods can be arranged.


ACCREDITATION STATUS

Although our lab does not have SANAS accreditation, please find our standpoint on this below. FACTS participates in periodic proficiency testing with FAPAS (http://www.fapas.com/) to ensure that our results are comparable and correct. For further details, click here.


FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE FOLLOWING, PLEASE CLICK ON THE LINKS:

View Company Disclaimer