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24th February 2015  Content supplied by: Romer Labs

From Spice to Threat – the Largest FDA Allergy–Related Recall

Cumin, the aromatic  spice found in many Indian dishes, featured in the newspaper last December as the FDA released a press release recall statement on undeclared peanut proteins in cumin products. But cumin was not the only culprit – there have been several peanut-related recalls in different food products recently.

So far the source of contamination has not been determined, which is not surprising given the long and complex supply chain from manufacturer to end user. Experts have proposed several as to where the contamination could have happened. It is obvious to all that the spice industry is vulnerable to air-borne contamination in the course of production or storage. The question now is if these recent recalls could have been prevented with a proper allergen management in place?

A recent study investigating six different commercially available peanut kits has been published by the Food Allergy Research and Resource Program (FARRP) in the Journal of agricultural and food chemistry. This study showed that all kits gave reasonable good recoveries with the peanut butter material (NIST SRM 2387). The Romer Labs AgraQuant® Peanut kit was one of two kits showing the highest recoveries. The AgraQuant® Peanut kit shows a limit of detection of 0,1 mg/kg peanut and quantifies peanut in a range from 1-40 mg/kg. Moreover Romer Labs also offers the AgraQuant® Plus Peanut test kit (LOD: 0,5 mg/kg ; range: 1-25 mg/kg) – the fastest Peanut Allergen ELISA on the market – which showed extremely good recoveries of peanut in curry matrix (98,4% recovery of 5ppm peanut) in an internal comparison study.

Lateral flow test strip for allergens in spices

The AgraStrip® Peanut lateral flow test kit completes the solution Romer Labs can offer in regards to peanut testing. The AgraStrip test kit system is a very suitable tool to trace allergen contamination directly on site without extra equipment in an extremely fast and convenient manner.

For more information about the largest allergen testing portfolio in the market, please visit



Date Published: 24th February 2015

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