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New paper examines approaches to measuring protein in foods in context of deadly adulterations
Date:8/26/2010

ere an "absence of" result indicates the test material is not adulterated with a specific material. This requires prior knowledge about the adulterant and therefore is not useful for detecting unknown adulterants, thus prohibiting it from preventing future adulteration with unknown substitutes. The second approach is based on compendial identification and purity tests that substantiate an ingredient's identify and quantify its purity, i.e., a "presence of" result. This approach is effective when either a known or unknown adulterant is substituted for the original material at concentrations high enough to be recognized in test results. As noted in the paper, it is less useful when adulterants are present in low concentrations; however, from a practical perspective, counterfeiters often must adulterate at relatively high concentration levels to realize economic gain. Such purity standards are contained in compendia including the FCC. At this time, no current compendial methods are sufficiently selective to differentiate protein from other nitrogen-containing compounds.

The paper identifies a host of existing methods for food protein measurement that may exhibit potential for broader use (and the associated pros and cons of each method), including infrared methods, amino acid-based methods and new spectral probes. Certain methods have existed for some time but have not achieved routine use by the food industry, instead having been largely limited to research applications. However, the authors note that even though these methods may have some utility, many food matrices have unique requirements that necessitate different approaches for protein measurement. This may require a combination of different protein analysis methods to effectively prevent adulteration. The paper also looks at emerging methods including antibody based methods and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) that may be useful once sufficiently developed for practical use in routine prot
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Contact: Francine Pierson
fp@usp.org
301-816-8588
US Pharmacopeia
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3 4

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