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The market for gluten free products continues to grow, and along with the clear establishment of this consumer segment comes an increased demand for accurate gluten testing for products claiming to meet the “gluten free” standard of The use and limitations of the Competitive ELISA to detect proteins used in protease enzyme fermentation applications.
The whitepaper, authored by Deerland Enzymes’ VP of technology, Dr. John Deaton, outlines the testing method commonly used to detect gluten in consumer products. As a common practice, testing laboratories have been using the Competitive ELISA (Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay) for the analysis of fermented and hydrolyzed foods which are declared as “gluten-free”, such as beer and soy sauce. While this is a validated method for the detection of gluten after beer fermentation, there is no validation for these competitive ELISA tests on products that contain active proteases, such as enzyme supplements. “In fact,” explains Deaton, “the competitive ELISA test is likely to result in a false positive for gluten in fermented or hydrolyzed substances because active proteases degrade the protein of interest in the competitive ELISA, interfering with the assay.”
Perhaps the most notable section of the whitepaper is the introduction of a more appropriate testing method for protease-containing substances, which involves deactivating the proteases. “In order to test enzyme products for gluten using the competitive ELISA, the protease must be deactivated for more accurate results,” Deaton concludes.