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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DEVELOPMENT OF DETECTION TECHNOLOGIES FOR TOXINS AND THEIR VALIDATION IN FOOD MATRICES Title: Immunoassay

Authors
item Brandon, David
item Carter, John

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: November 13, 2010
Publication Date: January 3, 2012
Citation: Brandon, D.L., Carter, J.M. 2012. Immunoassay. Sun, D.W. Handbook of Food Safety Engineering. Oxford, UK:Wiley-Blackwell. P. 279-312.

Interpretive Summary: This is a chapter on immunoassay for the Handbook of Food Safety Engineering. It describes current analytical methods that employ antibodies or related molecules to provide the essential binding reactions. The choice of immunoassay system for food safety analysis depends on the target substance to be detected, the type of sample, and the requirements of the analysis with regard to speed, throughput, sensitivity, specificity, and overall purpose of the analysis. Immunoassays for food safety can be used for three general purposes: (1) research and development, (2) quality assurance, and (3) regulatory monitoring. Immunoassays are widely employed for detection and measurement of thousands of different food components. They may often be used under poorly controlled conditions and still give good results. New technologies including nanomaterials, microfluidics, robotics, and chip-based analytical chemistry ensure that rapid changes will occur in the sensing of pathogens and other targets important in food safety and defense. Likewise, the innovative and competitive nature of the food industry provides assurance of a continuing stream of new production systems, products, and packaging systems. Global population and environmental changes are guaranteed to provide increased as well as novel analytical demands to assure a healthful, sustainable food supply.

Technical Abstract: Immunoassays are analytical methods that employ antibodies or molecules derived from antibodies for the essential binding reactions. The choice of immunoassay system for food safety analysis depends on the analyte, the matrix, and the requirements of the analysis (speed, throughput, sensitivity, specificity, and overall analytical purpose). Immunoassays for food safety can be used for three general purposes: (1) research and development, (2) quality assurance, and (3) regulatory monitoring. Immunoassays are widely employed for detection and quantitation of thousands of diverse analytes. Their popularity stems from several positive features, some of which are especially pertinent to food and agricultural applications. Immunoassays may be ported to a variety of convenient formats and platforms, where they can be used under poorly controlled conditions and still give good results. It is clear that new immunoassay formats and devices are developed continually, providing ever lower limits of detection, greater multiplex capability, and higher throughput for food safety analyses. The burgeoning science of nanomaterials and the art and technology of microfluidics, robotics, and chip-based analytical chemistry ensure that rapid changes will occur in the sensing of pathogens and toxins important in food safety and defense. Likewise, the innovative and competitive nature of the food industry provides assurance of a continuing stream of new production systems, products, and packaging materials. Global population and environmental changes are guaranteed to provide increased as well as novel analytical demands to assure a healthful, sustainable food supply.

Last Modified: 10/25/2014
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