Georgia-based Deerland Enzymes has released a white paper that addresses testing for gluten proteins in enzyme products, entitled “The use and limitations of the Competitive ELISA (Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay) to detect proteins used in protease enzyme fermentation applications.”
The market for gluten-free products continues to grow, and along with the clear establishment of this consumer segment comes an increased demand for accurate gluten testing for products claiming to meet the gluten-free standard of <20ppm. As a company with clinically-studied supplements formulated specifically for the digestion of gluten, Deerland Enzymes found it prudent to take the lead in determining the most accurate method for testing enzyme supplements for the presence of gluten.
The whitepaper, authored by Dr. John Deaton, Deerland Enzymes’ vice president of science and technology, outlines the testing method commonly used to detect gluten in consumer products. As a common practice, testing laboratories have been using the Competitive ELISA for the analysis of fermented and hydrolyzed products, which are declared as “gluten free,” such as beer and soy sauce. While this is a validated method for the detection of gluten after beer fermentation, there is no validation for these competitive ELISA tests on products that contain active proteases, such as enzyme supplements. “In fact,” Deaton explained, “the competitive ELISA test is likely to result in a false positive for gluten in fermented or hydrolyzed substances because active proteases degrade the protein of interest in the competitive ELISA, interfering with the assay.”
Perhaps the most notable section of the whitepaper is the introduction of a more appropriate testing method for protease-containing substances, which involves deactivating the proteases. “In order to test enzyme products for gluten using the competitive ELISA, the protease must be deactivated for more accurate results,” Deaton noted. According to Deaton, the same is true for the “sandwich” ELISA method; however, the white paper focuses on the competitive method due to the increasing popularity of the use of this test for gluten detection.
The full whitepaper is available for download on the company’s website at http://deerlandenzymes.com/gluten-testing-of-enzyme-supplement-products/.