Measuring Hordein Gluten in Beer – A Comparison of ELISA and Mass SpectrometryReport as inadecuate




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Background

Subjects suffering from coeliac disease, gluten allergy-intolerance must adopt a lifelong avoidance of gluten. Beer contains trace levels of hordeins gluten which are too high to be safely consumed by most coeliacs. Accurate measurement of trace hordeins by ELISA is problematic.

Methods

We have compared hordein levels in sixty beers, by sandwich ELISA, with the level determined using multiple reaction monitoring mass spectrometry MRM-MS.

Results

Hordein levels measured by ELISA varied by four orders of magnitude, from zero for known gluten-free beers to 47,000 µg-mL ppm; for a wheat-based beer. Half the commercial gluten-free beers were free of hordein by MS and ELISA. Two gluten-free and two low-gluten beers had zero ELISA readings, but contained significant hordein levels p<0.05, or near average 60–140% hordein levels, by MS, respectively. Six beers gave false negatives, with zero ELISA readings but near average hordein content by MS. Approximately 20% of commercial beers had ELISA readings less than 1 ppm, but a near average hordein content by MS. Several barley beers also contained undeclared wheat proteins.

Conclusions

ELISA results did not correlate with the relative content of hordein peptides determined by MS, with all barley based beers containing hordein. We suggest that mass spectrometry is more reliable than ELISA, as ELISA enumerates only the concentration of particular amino-acid epitopes; this may vary between different hordeins and may not be related to the absolute hordein concentration. MS quantification is undertaken using peptides that are specific and unique, enabling the quantification of individual hordein isoforms. This outlines the problem of relying solely on ELISA determination of gluten in beverages such as beer and highlights the need for the development of new sensitive and selective quantitative assay such as MS.



Author: Gregory J. Tanner , Michelle L. Colgrave , Malcolm J. Blundell, Hareshwar P. Goswami, Crispin A. Howitt

Source: http://plos.srce.hr/



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