October 2020

LGC’s multi-allergen reference material kit awarded ISO 17034 accreditation

LGC is delighted that the production of its first ever multi-allergen reference material kit containing five common allergens (milk, egg, almond, hazelnut, walnut), traceable to the SI (International System of Units), has been confirmed within the scope of its ISO 17034 accreditation.

The reference material kit, announced recently and produced by the LGC’s NML Reference Materials team, in collaboration with the University of Manchester and Romer Labs, is a world first. It will help scientists and industry by supporting method development to determine ‘true’ allergen content, and assist laboratories in monitoring the performance of methods on a day-to day basis. 

Gill Holcombe, Head of the Reference Material Production Team, LGC said, “We are delighted that the RM kit is recognised by ISO accreditation. It is a fact that not many allergen RMs have this accreditation and this is confirmation that the kit has been prepared according to very exacting requirements. We hope this will ultimately improve the safety of food products for allergen sufferers.”

Gill Holcombe continued, “I am grateful to the Food Standards Agency and BEIS for funding the research that contributed to development of the RM. Food allergy is a serious and growing problem, with up to 2 million people in the UK estimated to be affected. In the absence of a currently accepted cure, these individuals must avoid eating problem foods throughout their life. This can be difficult to achieve in practice, as allergens can sometimes find their way into foods unintentionally, e.g. through use of common utensils and processing lines. Even very small quantities (as little as 1/100 of a gram) of a food such as peanut can cause an unwanted reaction in a person with peanut allergy”.

ISO 17034:2016 covers the production of all reference materials, including certified reference materials. It is intended as part of the general quality assurance procedures of the reference material producer.

The reference material kit consists of:

  • five well-characterised individual common allergen foods (skimmed milk powder, egg white powder, almond, hazelnut and walnut flours),
  • chocolate paste with all five added allergen food ingredients (fortified at 10 mg/kg as protein) and
  • chocolate paste with no added allergen food ingredients (blank).

The Allergen RM kit is available to purchase from LGC Standards (reference LGC746-KT).

The allergen foods are also available for purchase as individual items. Click here for detailed statements of measurement for the allergen foods in the kit. The statement of measurement of the RM kit gives a wealth of detail on the composition of the RM, ELISA responses and conversion factors.