The presence of allergens in food is an issue of major concern, as reactions triggered by the ingestion of even minimal doses of food allergens varies but could lead to severe potentially lethal anaphylactic shocks. The prevalence of clinical confirmed food allergies indicates that up to 2.5% of adults and up to 8% of children under 3 years of age are affected by food allergens, whereas population surveys have estimated even much higher percentages. According to the European Commission Directive 2002/86/EC, food ingredients must be declared and the most important food allergens must be disclosed on the label. However, for all kind of reasons, this may not be the case, including fraudulent substitution by less expensive ingredients, mislabeling and contamination.
Cashew is one of the allergens listed in this directive. Several methods for Cashew detection that are available are based on protein identification (by means of electrophoretic and/or immunological methods). However, these methods are not reliable for highly processed and heated products due to protein denaturation and degradation. As DNA is much more stable, PCR/qPCR amplification of a species-specific target sequence provide a simple, fast and reliable method for the detection of a target species with high sensitivity and specificity, even in the case of highly fragmented DNA.
The Xpert qDetect Cashew is a kit for the detection by qPCR of DNA from Cashew present in total DNA previously purified from food samples. This kit is compatible with instruments equipped with FAM and ROX channels. The detection limit is 1 pg of Cashew DNA, allowing the detection of as little as 0.001% of target DNA in food samples if 100ng of total DNA (mixed species) is used