With the addition of two new reference materials containing tree nuts, NIST now offers a complete set of aids for detecting allergens in food. As of 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recognizes eight main categories of food allergens* -- milk, egg, wheat, soy, peanuts, fish, shellfish, and tree nuts – and requires that foods are labelled with their potential allergens. Until now, the food industry has had access to NIST reference materials in all of these categories except tree nuts.
The two new products provide the food industry with new reference materials that will enable the development and validation of immuno-assays that can detect tree nut proteins in food matrices.
Because detection of dangerous allergens is so important to consumer safety, selection of flours that each contain proteins from a single nut source was critical. NIST chose flours from nuts grown on single-crop farms and had the flours screened for a panel of proteins. For both flours, NIST was able to rule out cross-contact with additional allergens and increase confidence that the sole source of protein in each material was from the desired source.
A unit of RM 8404, almond flour, consists of five packets of blanched almond flour. Each packet contains approximately 5 grams of material.
A unit of RM 8405, hazelnut flour, consists of five packets of hazelnut flour. Each packet contains approximately 5 grams of material.
Each material should be stored at -20 ⁰C.
Phillips, M.M.; Bunk, D.M.; Green, A.B.; Yen, J.H.; Value Assignment of Reference Material 8404 Almond Flour for Allergen Detection; NIST SP 260-218; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC (2021); available at https://nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/SpecialPublications/NIST.SP.260-218.pdf
Phillips, M.M.; Bunk, D.M.; Green, A.B.; Yen, J.H.; Value Assignment of Reference Material 8405 Hazelnut Flour for Allergen Detection; NIST SP 260-219; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC (2021); available at https://nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/SpecialPublications/NIST.SP.260-219.pdf
*In January 2023, the U.S. FDA will require that food labels contain notice of a ninth allergen category, sesame.