Food Safety and Environmental Testing

Allergen Testing by PCR

Allergen testing identifies contaminated products before they are released. Allergen testing can also guide the food manufacturer to identify areas of processing facilities that need to be decontaminated. Many, but not all, food allergens can be screened using real-time PCR methods.

Advantages of real-time PCR

  • Real-time PCR targets specific DNA sequences representative for the allergen of interest. PCR is therefore highly specific and can be used for most processed food samples.
  • Real-time PCR methods offer very high sensitivity.
  • Multiplex real-time PCR enables simultaneous screening of multiple allergens in one single assay format
  • Real-time PCR use a standardized sample preparation. Therefore, for high sample throughputs, real-time PCR tests are much more efficient than other analysis methods.
  • PCR is especially suited for the detection of allergens such as celery and fish, to targets that demonstrate high cross-reactivity when using ELISA methods.
  • Real-time PCR provides a quick and definitive result.

Implementation of alternative methods

  • CellMadeTM Laboratories selects methods from trusted suppliers.
  • The method verification report(s) and data are available under the Resources Centre of this website.

Proficiency tests

  • CellMadeTM Laboratories regularly participates in international proficiency tests organized by recognized companies and institutions.
  • The results of the proficiency test(s) are available under the Resources Centre of this website.


Below table summarizes the available allergen testing services using real-time PCR methods.