Immunofluorescent determination of wheat protein in meat products
Keywords:fluorescence microscopy, plant allergens, meat, addulteration, celiac deases
In food industry nowadays, there are various plant-origin protein additives which are meant for production of meat products. Among the most frequent additives of this type there are different kinds of flour, starch, fiber, and plant-origin proteins. Their usage at present is limited by the existing legislation not to prevent consumer deception but also for reasons of possible influence on consumer health. Therefore, this problem is paid a lot of attention not only in the Czech Republic but also all over the world. The main risk is seen in the impossibility to choose a suitable foodstuff for an individual prone to allergic reactions. Potential allergens are also often plant-origin raw materials which are added into foodstuffs for their technological qualities and low price. Wheat is widely cultivated cereal as well as an important source of proteins. After ingestion or inhalation, wheat proteins may cause adverse reactions. These adverse effects include a wide range of disorders which are dependent on the method of contact with wheat protein. These adverse effects can then take the form of various clinical manifestations, such as celiac disease, T-cell mediated inflammatory bowel disease, dermatitis, skin rash, breathing difficulties, allergy to pollen or to wheat flour or food allergy to foodstuffs containing gluten. The only possible protection against adverse immune reactions for those with food allergies is strictly excluding the allergen from their diet. Although the number of studies dealing with the reduction or loss of allergenicity is increasing, yet these practices are not common. Most of the population suffering from food allergies is thus still dependent on strict exclusion of foodstuffs causing adverse allergic reactions from their diet. In order to avoid misleading consumers and also to protect allergic consumers, analytical methods applicable to all types of foodstuffs have been developed. Unfortunately, detection of allergens in foodstuffs is relatively difficult because of the fact that they occur in trace amounts and are often masked by various parts of the product. This paper deals with detection of wheat protein in meat products bought in the retail network of the Czech Republic. Ten cooked meat products, especially types of sausages and soft salami which stated wheat protein in their composition, were examined. The samples were processed using the method of immunofluorescence and stained with Texas Red fluorochrome. The presence of wheat protein was demonstrated in all the examined meat products. From the results it follows that the method of immunofluorescence is suitable for detection of wheat protein in meat products.
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