Extension of xMAP Food Allergen Detection Assay To Include Sesame

J Food Prot. 2020 Jan;83(1):129-135. doi: 10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-19-304.


An estimated 0.1 to 0.2% of the North American population is allergic to sesame, and deaths due to anaphylactic shock have been reported. Detecting and quantifying sesame in various food samples is critical to safeguard the allergic population by ensuring accurate ingredient labeling. Because of the modular nature of the xMAP Food Allergen Detection Assay (FADA), it was possible through method extension to add sesame as a validated additional analyte. Because raw and toasted sesame are both commonly used and the two display significantly different antigenicity, three antibodies, one monoclonal and two polyclonal, were conjugated to bead sets to ensure reliable detection. The modified xMAP FADA successfully detected sesame incurred or spiked in baked muffins, spice mix, canola oil, and in both raw and toasted sesame oils with limit of quantitation values ≤ 1.3 ppm of sesame. Canola oil, sesame oil, toasted sesame oil, and olive oil inhibited sesame detection, as did the detection of sesame incurred in foods containing oil (e.g., hummus). Despite this inhibition, the xMAP FADA was still able to reliably detect sesame at levels throughout the dynamic range of the assay (22 to 750 ng of protein per mL) in all the foods examined. Further, the high signal-to-noise ratio of the lowest calibration standard and preliminary studies conjugating the antibodies at higher concentrations indicate an ability to increase the sensitivity of the assay should the need arise.

Keywords: Detection; Food allergen; Method extension; Sesame; xMAP.

MeSH terms

  • Allergens / analysis*
  • Antibodies
  • Food Hypersensitivity*
  • Humans
  • Immunoassay / methods*
  • Sesamum / chemistry*


  • Allergens
  • Antibodies