Comparison of commercial allergen ELISA kits for egg detection in food matrices

Nathalie G.E. Smits*, Emiliano De Dominicis, Andries J. Koops, Rian Kraan, Samim Saner, H.J. Van Der Fels-Klerx, Elise Hoek-van den Hil

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Consumption of low levels of egg already can evoke harmful physiological responses in humans in those allergic to eggs. By detection of egg in food products, using Egg ELISA kits to determine its unintended presence, food producers can respond to avoid potential safety or quality risks of their products. Selection of an ELISA kit fit for the issue at hand is challenging due to, amongst others, lack of information on assay performances with specified matrices. In this study, performances of seven commercial egg ELISA kits are compared for nine different relevant matrices: cookie, chocolate, pasta, dressing, stock cube, wine, vegetable drink and milk, ice cream and meat/meat replacers. The presence of egg was unified for all ELISA kits to mg total egg protein kg−1 food product. In every matrix, kit performances for recovery, intra- and interassay were compared, and also processing is accounted for by determination of egg in incurred samples. All seven kits were able to detect egg qualitatively at the VITAL3 ED01 level of 0.2 mg total egg protein and the corresponding relevant portion size for each matrix. For quantitative results, each ELISA kit showed an increase in detected egg concentration with increased egg levels and performed within the set criteria for recovery for the cookie, chocolate, stock cube and wine. For pasta, vegetable drink and milk, ice cream, and salad dressing, recovery of egg was within the set criteria for at least 4 ELISA kits. Most challenging matrices were meat/meat replacers, showing high matrix effects which could not be explained by the possible egg presence in the cognate blank. Only one ELISA kit was able to recover egg within the set criteria for the meat/meat replacer matrix. Results enable food industry to choose for ELISA kits suitable for egg detection in the matrix of interest.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere19687
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023


  • Food allergens
  • Food safety
  • Immunoassay
  • Liquid chromatography mass spectrometry
  • Matrix effects
  • Method performance
  • Spiked and incurred samples


Dive into the research topics of 'Comparison of commercial allergen ELISA kits for egg detection in food matrices'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this