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Gluten Detection

GlutenTox products offer practical tools to detect the most immunogenic fraction of gluten from wheat, rye, barley and some varieties of oat.

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Oleotest is a rapid test to report the quality of used frying oil by estimation of the polar compound Concentration.

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Food analysis service including gluten detection or other food allergens (such as nuts, milk, casein, shell fish. We also offer analysis service including aflatoxins, physicochemical organoleptic, heavy metals, antibiotics, fatty acids, water, nutritional and Microbiological analysis.

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Alextox for tree nuts: hazelnut

Tree nut allergy is one of the most powerful and frequent food allergies, in particular, it affects 1% of the population being more frequent in children. Reactions to nuts are severe, specially the first time that the consumer eats nuts without knowing about their allergy, (occurring) having breathing and cardiovascular problems.

Allergens involved in nut allergies belong to what’s known as plant defence related proteins (vicilins, legumins, albumins), which means that if one person is allergic to an specific kind of tree nut, they could probably be allergic to others, even though they come from very different plants. This is why all nuts are included in the same risk group.

DID YOU KNOW…?

Peanuts are a very common allergen, but don’t belong to the group of nuts, since they are a legume as lentils or beans.

Nuts mustn’t be mistaken with dried fruits like raisins, figs and plums, since their edible part is the pulp and not the seed.

The Food and Drug Administration recognizes coconut as a tree nut. It isn’t restricted in the diet for nut allergy , though some people have often reacted.

Tree nuts include, but are not limited to, almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, chestnuts, filberts/hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachios, pine nuts, and walnuts. The allergy to each nut has a different prevalence between countries. The hazelnut is the tree nut that causes more allergic reactionsin Europe.

Hazelnut is the fruit of the hazel tree and its main allergen is the protein Cor a 1. When the body detects this protein in the food and recognizes it as strange, the immune system overreacts producing antibodies. Antibodies release a chemical called histamine, which causes the symptoms of the intoxication.

  • Skin: rashes and hives, eczemas, facial redness and swelling.
  • Digestive system: stomach ache, vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Respiratory system: runny nose, blocked nose, asthma attack, wheezing and cough.
  • Cardiovascular system: dizziness and drops in blood pressure.

Reactions are normally strong, immediate and can trigger an anaphylactic shock which can be life threatening.

What are some unexpected places where Hazelnuts can be an ingredient?

According to UE labeling and Codex Alimentarius, all products and foodstuff containing tree nuts must be labeled. However, it’s not unusual to find hazelnut as an ingredient or due to cross contamination on the machinery during the production process. The only treatment for tree nuts allergy, as occurs with other allergies, consist on a total avoidance of these products.

  • Pasta and backed products
  • Candies
  • Ice-creams
  • Asian, African and other cuisines
  • Sauces (pesto, chili sauce, barbeque, mole sauce…)
  • Liqueurs
  • Marzipan

DID YOU KNOW…?

Tree nut can be found in your dog food or bird feed, including your pet saliva. Also in the food for hamsters and in its bed of straw, feed for livestock and some cosmetic products.

¿What can companies or laboratories do to control the presence of hazelnuts?

There are two products specialized in the detection of hazelnut allergens. The first of them is presented in an immunocromatic strip format, which permit any business to know the presence of the allergen on surfaces or ingredients; it is Alertox Stick Hazelnuts  (KT-6129). On the other side, Alertox ELISA Hazelnuts (KT-5907) is an ELISA test which can obtain quantitative dates of the allergen.

Both tests are necessary to maintain the quality levels into the company, controlling the absence of the hazelnut allergen. In the same way, it is important that the company could count with a laboratory which offers a certified analysis service of allergens. This means analyses certified with the ISO 17025, the only test that can validate the results.

Why do we like crispy food?

In addition to the pleasant feeling, and even if it sounds strange, that we enjoy eating crispy food there is science-based. Frying-up is the most common process to obtain crispy food, however, frying the food involves a risk that we must avoid.

Everybody likes crispy food. Golden French fries, crispy fish and chips… even vegetables are more appealing when fried in tempura batter. When food is crunchy, it triggers a positive response in our brain, while if it’s tough or chewy we use to reject it

The point is that our draw to crispy food is not only matter of taste; it’s an evolutionary fact that defines the human relationship with food since the time of our ancestors. As explained by the anthropologist John S. Allen, from the University of Southern California, choosing crispy food is since the dawn of time the way to distinguish between safe-to-eat food and food going off. Is not the same a chewy carrot than crunchy one when we bite in it, as it gives us give us a sign of freshness. We’ve always preferred the most crunchy fruits and vegetables, as its texture reveals us if it’s fresh or rancid food.

Furthermore, crispy food has another characteristic that appeals to us not only to our palates but to our hearing. Spencer’s research in multisensory perception of food, demonstrated that the sound produced by food when chewed affects the way we perceive its taste. Indeed, the range of frequency in which we like to hear the crunch is between 90 to 100 decibels.

To obtain the crispy texture we use the frying oil. When the oil is heated, this causes the change which makes the food crispy, but the disadvantage is that during this frying process dangerous changes occur in the oil compositions which are dangerous. Reactions of hydrolysis, oxidation and polymerization generate polar compounds due to the water content present in the food that come into contact with the oil, the oxygen in the atmosphere and the high temperatures (320-390 oF).These polar compounds can be harmful for human health and raise the risk for cancer according to FDA, raise the blood pressure, cause intestinal damage and change the organoleptic properties of the food. Therefore, European countries such as Spain, Portugal, France, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy and Netherland, have established legislations to control the quality of frying oil in restaurants and all kind of establishments dedicated to food manufacturing.

¿How do I know when I have to change the frying oil?

It’s necessary to change the frying oil with regularity due to the accumulation of these polar compounds. The legislations of most European countries establish that the parameter to take into account to change the oil is the percentage of polar compounds which must not equal or exceed a value in the range of 24-27%, depending on the country. To verify the presence of toxic substances in oil are necessary periodic revisions of the oil quality. Now, this is easy with OleoTest , a rapid and economic method which determines the oil alteration degree and that can be used by the establishment staff. In less than 2 minutes you will know the percentage of polar compounds and if your frying oil is ready to use or must be changed.

Working on Food Safety

Biomedal Diagnostics is offering various analytical tools to detect harmful agents in food.

Biomedal Diagnostics offers a large variety of products and services related to human health. It already holds a position in the market of products for analysis related to immunological diseases, and rapid tools for food safety analysis. Amongst outstanding products, we offer the latest generation gluten detection tests, GlutenTox, which detects the most immunogenic fraction of gluten. Biomedal Diagnostics also provides Oleotest, a rapid test kit to analyze the quality of used frying oil