Gas Chromatography

  • What Causes Food Allergies? — Chromatography Explores

What Causes Food Allergies? — Chromatography Explores

May 24 2018 Read 988 Times

Living with an allergy is a way of life for many people — more so in the developed world it seems. In fact, the UK has some of the highest allergy rates in the world — with an estimated 20% of the population affected by one allergy or another. Over 40% of adults in the UK suffer from at least one allergy with the number of sufferers increasing year on year. A recent study suggests that hospital admissions due to anaphylaxis have increased significantly in the last 20 years.

Immunity response goes haywire

Food allergy is basically a condition where your body has a reaction to the food you eat — not all the food but the food’s antigens. One of the ways that an allergic reaction occurs is due to the IgE-mediated immune mechanism. IgE is shorthand for immunoglobulin E, and they are antibodies produced by our immune system. IgE-mediated just means that the IgE antibodies are the cause of the allergic reaction to the food eaten. The allergic response usually happens very quickly.

Allergic proteins on the food are targeted and acted on by IgE antibodies. This causes the release of various cytokines and mediators that try and repel the antigens. The IgE antibodies are found on mast cells — cells that can release histamine and other substances during an allergic reaction. These mast cells are found in the skin and at barriers between mucosal and vascular systems. In some individuals, the mast cells don’t learn to differentiate between harmful and normal invaders — they become sensitised and can release IgE when innocuous substances like foods are ingested.

Analysing lipids in allergy causing foodstuffs

One of the foodstuffs that people are often allergic to are peanuts and tee nuts. The allergic reactions to these can lead to anaphylactic reactions and sometimes fatal situations. Peptides are the compounds that are often blamed for the allergic reactions — but lipids have also been shown to cause allergic reactions via a different pathway.

A recent paper in the International Journal of Multidisciplinary and Current ResearchGas Chromatography And Mass Spectrometry in Lipid Profiling of Allergy causing Food Materials — highlights the use of gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS) in identifying the lipids responsible for allergic reactions. Gas chromatography is one of the best tools an analyst can have in his toolbox as discussed in the article, Gas Chromatography: A Powerful Tool for Cannabinoid Analysis.

Using GC-MS, the researchers identified phospholipids present in the various nut samples. Previous researchers have found links between the quantity of phospholipids in a species and the risk of allergenicity. However, there were experimental errors that stop too many conclusions being drawn from the study. However, the study shows that GC-MS can be used in the identification of lipids that cause allergic reactions.

Read comments0

Do you like or dislike what you have read? Why not post a comment to tell others / the manufacturer and our Editor what you think. To leave comments please complete the form below. Providing the content is approved, your comment will be on screen in less than 24 hours. Leaving comments on product information and articles can assist with future editorial and article content. Post questions, thoughts or simply whether you like the content.

Digital Edition

Chromatography Today - September 2018

September 2018

In This Edition Articles - The Past, Present, and Future (?) of Analytical Supercritical Fluid Chromatography - a 2018 Perspective - Column Technology for Achiral SFC Separations - Practica...

View all digital editions


analytica China

Oct 31 2018 Shanghai, China

ISPPP 2018

Nov 04 2018 Berlin, Germany

MicroTAS 2018

Nov 11 2018 Kaohsiung, Taiwan

WWEM 2018

Nov 21 2018 Telford, UK

View all events