Submitted to: Food Hydrocolloids
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/18/2022
Publication Date: 7/21/2022
Citation: Zhao, W., Yang, K., Cameron, R.G. 2022. A novel multiplex lateral flow assay for rapid assessment of pectin structural/functional properties. Food Hydrocolloids. 133 : Article 107988. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodhyd.2022.107988.
Interpretive Summary: We developed a multiplex lateral flow assay (LFA) system for pectin structural/functional property assessment. It is a novel, user-friendly, sensitive and robust analytical tool that can be used with minimal operator-dependent steps at any point in the pectin production/utilization process chain to rapidly detect and assess pectin structural properties that are related to its functionality. The technology can be easily scaled up to high-volume manufacturing, the equipment and materials required for manufacture of the test strips are commercially available and relatively inexpensive, backed by the supply chain serving producers of medical diagnostic test strips. Its simplicity of operation, portability, and ease of manufacturing make the test strip a promising testing product that would benefit the entire spectrum of the pectin utilization chain, from producers and ingredient suppliers to food formulators and those in the medical and personal care industries.
Technical Abstract: Pectin is a multi-faceted functional food ingredient widely used in the food, pharmaceutical and personal care industries for different purposes, based on its functional properties, which are primarily determined by the structural properties (degree and pattern of methyl-esterification) of its homogalacturonan (HG) backbone. Currently, pectin’s commercial functionality is defined by lengthy, laborious and operator dependent tests. Using pectin homogalacturonan (HG) recognizing antibodies, we have developed a novel, rapid, easy to use lateral flow assay (LFA) to detect and assess pectin structural properties that are related to its functionality. The LFA system includes three different capture antibodies immobilized on a test strip and two detection antibodies labeled with different colors of Gold NanoParticles in a small vial. A user needs only to drop a pectin sample into the small vial and insert the test strip into the vial, then wait five minutes to obtain results. With a detection limit of 0.02 µg/mL of pectin, the developed LFA is able to discern pectin’s degree and pattern of methyl-esterification. The capability of the LFA has been validated by testing a series of known experimental and commercial pectins. The technology can be easily scaled up to high-volume manufacturing. The convenience of such an LFA would benefit the entire spectrum of the pectin utilization chain, from producers and ingredient suppliers to food formulators and those in the medical and personal care industries.