Barcelona - The Codex Alimentarius Commission is currently discussing setting the maximum level of gluten for “gluten-free foods” at 20 ppm. This pending threshold is expected to be enforced once an official method for gliadin analysis has been established and progress on “toxicity” related to gluten for coeliac patients has been made. Many food companies have already started to include the new threshold in their quality control procedure.
Ingezim Gluten is a new enzyme immunoassay based on the Double Antibody Sandwich ELISA technique, which uses the R5 monoclonal antibody as its key reagent. The assay was developed by Ingenasa (Immunology and Applied Genetic, SA), a Spanish biotechnology company.
This specific antibody has proven to be strongly reactive to a potential coeliac disease active sequence (QQPFP) present in gliadins and the related prolamins secalin (rye) and hordein (barley). The fact that the antibody does not bind to prolamins of oats (avenin) seems to be advantageous as more and more data suggest that oats do not damage the mucosa of coeliac patients.
The assay is said to be able to detect even the 0.75ng/ml Reference Standard (0.75 ppm of gliadin). Nevertheless, the limit of sensitivity has been set at 1.5 ppm of gliadins in order to ensure a reliability of more than 99%. This detection limit is well under the forthcoming requirements of the Codex Alimentarius Commission.