Liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry in food allergen detection

J Food Prot. 2011 Feb;74(2):316-45. doi: 10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-10-336.


Food allergy is an important issue in the field of food safety because of the hazards for affected persons and the hygiene requirements and legal regulations imposed on the food industry. Consumer protection and law enforcement require suitable analytical techniques for the detection of allergens in foods. Immunological methods are currently preferred; however, confirmatory alternatives are needed. The determination of allergenic proteins by liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry has greatly advanced in recent years, and gel-free allergenomics is becoming a routinely used approach for the identification and quantitation of food allergens. The present review provides a brief overview of the principles of proteomic procedures, various chromatographic set ups, and mass spectrometry instrumentation used in allergenomics. A compendium of published liquid chromatography methods, proteomic analyses, typical marker peptides, and quantitative assays for 14 main allergy-causing foods is also included.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Allergens / isolation & purification*
  • Chromatography, Liquid / methods*
  • Consumer Product Safety*
  • Food Analysis
  • Food Hypersensitivity / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Mass Spectrometry / methods*
  • Proteomics


  • Allergens